Stage 5 – Strength Comes From Synergy As The Company Matures
Integration is Stage 5 in The Stages of Growth methodology and follows on from the Professional stage. Companies are in this stage as they grow from 58 – 95 employees.
In a Stage 5 company, integration between departments is the key to success, so it is essential to take the independent group of managers from Stage 4 and get them to work together as a harmonious, synergistic team.
The key objectives of Stage 5 include:
- Create an integrated team of experienced managers.
- Full integration of the Culture Building Blocks.
- Work towards attaining efficiencies of scale.
- Move towards a more proactive way of doing business.
- Focus first on Profit, then People, and finally Process.
Strive To Get The Company Unified
The key objective is integrating all departments so that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. There should be a plan so that all decisions can be made in accordance to that plan. Without proper integration, the biggest risk is that the organization will not attain efficiencies of scale due to the size and complexity of the company.
Another interesting dynamic that occurs in this stage – the company starts getting noticed by its competition. The stakes go up because your competitors start seeing the company as a viable player in the market.
It is incredibly important for the leader to have a strong, integrated leadership team that provides a sounding board to make more informed decisions, provide a better support system, and therefore making the leader more effective.
Some of the Non-Negotiable Rules of Stage 5 include:
- Ensure strong managers lead the Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service departments and are part of the Management Team.
- Establish a 1-year, fully integrated budget for each department, by each revenue group.
- Leadership and the Management Team lead a Business Plan SCRUB every 12 weeks.
- Revitalize the KPIs throughout the organization.
Leadership Must Be Democratic
At Stage 5, the role of the leader is to guide through collaboration, inspire the team with a grand vision, and build loyalty through camaraderie.
It might not be easy, but the leader must be willing to admit what they don’t know, which will earn respect from the rest of the management team. The leader will also need to support the rest of the company by stepping up and making decisions based on a strong sense of values.
The primary and tertiary leadership styles are Democratic and Affiliative, which the leader must use to develop new competencies in conflict management and collaboration. Also, this is the first time since Stage 1 that the leader gets to spend more time as a Visionary. But this time it is very different, the leader is now leading a large group with a shared vision and not a small group with their vision. A clear definition of the company’s values will help the leader guide the team towards success.
Understanding the Stages of Growth empowers the leader to effectively manage change and enables them to prepare their staff for the issues faced in each Stage. Staff that are informed and aware of what’s coming next, can better anticipate the challenges as they appear and create synergy verses un-channeled energy. In the chaos of Stage 5 – synergy is the goal.
Mastering the Integration stage then leads into the Strategic stage, because the risk of not seeing the larger strategic picture could cause the ‘too little, too late’ syndrome.