Growth Stages Operations Strategy Team

Stage 6 – Longer view focus now critical

Stage 6 Company (96-160 employees)

Stage 6, with 96 to 160 employees, requires a longer, more strategic focus for the leader and a laser-like focus on your ability to connect to your employees.

You can no longer afford to be all things to all people. Your ability to differentiate yourself from the competition, while always important from a marketing perspective, has hit a crucial need.

The leader’s role as you move into this stage of growth has to be on creating a strategic vision that moves you farther into the future. The distribution of authority and accountability also becomes a major challenge and the leader needs to establish:

  • A very clear vision for the organization
  • A strong set of core values
  • A clearly defined dominant company culture
  • A powerful strategic plan that reaches out over two to five years

Strategic focus will not work without the buy-in of your leadership team and your entire company. Stage 6 provides you the opportunity to tune in to the perspectives of your company. Listening and learning at this stage of growth will reward an emotionally connected leader with strong growth, targeted planning and engaged employees.

Stage 6 Rules of the Road

Rule #1: Without fail, establish a 2- to 3-day new staff orientation. Develop a 2-day new staff orientation to include core values, master processes and cultural norms. Test this new staff orientation program with a pilot employee group. Set orientation-program benchmark by sending all employees through orientation program.

Rule #2: Generate a 3-year living business plan to address strategic, operational and people considerations. Have your leadership team research a 3-year, forward view of customers, competitors, markets, product/service offerings and company capacity. Have your leadership team create a 3-year planning process based on the operational, strategic and people considerations uncovered in their research. Create a tactical plan that is integrated with the company budget, department budgets and revenue-group forecasts.

Rule #3: Implement an organizational health survey once a year and establish one to two company-wide unifying events a year. Deliver a comprehensive organizational survey to access the anonymous employee company perspective. Organize an all-employee unifying event. Choose the 10 most pressing issues from the survey, frame into initiatives and communicate to all employees at the unifying event

Rule #4: Establish Stage 7 financial systems. Establish integrated accounts payable and receivable systems. Create an integrated financial reporting system for all revenue groups, cost of goods, product performance and gross profitability. Establish 3 levels of profit/loss and balance sheet reporting – data entry, summary roll up and master sheet levels.

Rule #5: Without fail, secure regular one-on-one supervisor/employee meetings. Secure and reinforce monthly supervisor/employee one-on-one meetings. Secure and reinforce feedback and performance phases in one-on-one meeting template. Secure and reinforce employee development in the one-on-one meeting template.


This article, derived from content created by FlashPoint!, is based on the 7 Stages of Growth concepts developed by the Origin Institute and James Fischer. It was contributed by Jacqueline Sousa, a certified Growth Curve Specialist and regional director of the Florida SBDC at FIU.

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