Why Growing Companies Must Examine Their Systems

About my writing: My passion is to develop leaders who have eternity in mind with Jesus as their guide. To that end, I write about two topics. The first is leadership and character development. The second is Biblical principles through the lens of a leader.

A blind spot in organizational growth is a lack of updated systems. When an organization grows, existing systems may no longer support the organization’s size or operations, so updating and improving systems is imperative.

It is natural to be excited about the growth itself. Mature leaders also know that the mundane process of creating new systems or updating existing ones must not be neglected along the way. In fact, overlooking this crucial task can bring growth to a halt, quickly resulting in failure.

When our organization was at twenty people, we used an Excel spreadsheet to manage our human resources needs. As we grew to over one hundred staff strong, we started looking for software designed to better keep track of our human resource data. We currently use Bamboo. Had we kept plugging along with a simple Excel spreadsheet, we would have accrued errors, encountered inefficiency, and found ourselves unable to care for our people’s needs—from benefits to payroll.

The leadership lesson here is this…

When you see your company growing, ask yourself this question: What systems need updating? Make this automatic to growth. Usually when we grow, we are so elated, we just want to focus on more growth. Even though updating systems is not as exciting as growth, without it there can be no growth.

By a system, I mean any set of protocols, IT solutions (like Bamboo), or simply a policy that everyone will follow to make sure we don’t run into each other and generate chaos and ineffectiveness.

Imagine if planes were free to fly without direction from flight control towers. They would most certainly run into each other in the air and on the ground as they take off and land. Imagine streets without stop lights. Actually many countries operate that way, and the chaos is a sight to see! Intersections are slower and driving is much more dangerous.

Systems, processes, and check-lists that are relevant, updated, and reviewed are integral to leadership success and often need updating when we grow. Make this your habit.


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