Shift Happens – How to prepare your company for the shift
New Companies are often not prepared for the changes that come with growth. In this article, we will discuss some of the key steps you should take when evaluating opportunities and if a “shift” needs to happen.
Here are a few simple questions that leaders can ask themselves before making any major decision:
1. Key steps in preparing for change include evaluating where you are now, determining what your goals and objectives are, and considering your resources. I have hit on these items in previous posts but to be selective means that you have to know where you are going and what it is going to take to get there. Are your current resources taxed managing the current workload or is it possible to take on a new opportunity?
If an opportunity does not align with where you need to go you owe it to yourself and your team to reconsider if the opportunity is right for you. Being selective may actually lead you to a better place in the future by affording you the capacity to get to your destination.
2. Leaders of organizations should also be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their company. Playing to your strengths can often be an advantage. Even “easy” opportunities might not leverage the strengths of your team or company so they should be carefully considered.
As an annual exercise, have your team map out the strengths and weaknesses. This list then should be compared to where you want to go. One mistake I often see is that people will want to only work on their weaknesses. Maybe the focus of playing to your strengths would yield greater results.
3. Evaluating a situation means looking at all new opportunities objectively. The tool I often use for this is an impact vs. effort grid. You can compare the impact that you see in the opportunity on your company versus the effort it is going to take to deliver. (See Example Below)
In the drawing below you would want to strongly consider taking on opportunity #2 while strongly reconsidering opportunity #3.
In a new company as revenue increases, entrepreneurs may want to expand into new territories by expanding production capacity or simply making more products, or taking on bigger projects. As the company grows one key skill is ensuring that you work on the right things and trading off or shifting to the most meaningful work. Shift happens but it is all a part of growing a bigger company.