I recently had a conversation with a business owner at a coffee shop who has created a very successful and progressive organization with a very cool culture that reflects his personality. Just that morning, he had heard about EOS® from a peer and thought it could solve some of his challenges. He said that as successful as his organization has become, he felt that he wasn’t confident about their next level of growth.
His self-awareness was impressive. We’ve all met successful business owners whose self-satisfaction blinds them to objectivity. Many leaders don’t recognize the signs that it’s time to stop celebrating the past and humbly face an uncertain future.
Telltale Signs of the Company’s Times
How can you spot the telltale cues that your own company has hit the ceiling of its own success? Here are five indications to watch for.
1. Lack of control – Everyone, including the owner, is busier than ever. The assumptions that created your internal operations, structures and systems have evolved organically and aren’t as efficient as they once were. Nature abhors a vacuum.
2. People – There’s missing accountability at all levels. As your organization has grown, people have been added and workloads have shifted until individual jobs and expected outcomes are no longer clear.
3. Profit – Possibly due to the internal organic growth, coupled with outside competition, inefficiencies have limited the profitability that used to come from streamlined systems and structures. Your company is taking on less profitable work more often, or margins are cut due to competition.
4. Growth – As new areas of opportunities have crept in and people’s focus has shifted, growth often comes from non-core areas that may stretch the brand. This happens to such a degree that you’re chasing underdog markets that you aren’t known for or suited for. This often happens at the expense of core-focus sustainable growth.
5. Magic Pills – There’s an effort to recapture the early days when the original vision was very clear, simple to communicate, and easy to manage. You take on new initiatives that promise to address core changes and recapture earlier magic. Instead, things become more complex. Time and money is spent chasing symptoms rather than the fundamental cause. Employees dread the next new book that leadership reads because it will unleash a new set of initiatives that mean more work but little change.
Take Your Company Through the Ceiling
If these indicators sound familiar, you’re not alone. Hitting the ceiling is a natural phenomenon that happens to every successful organization at some point. But asking for help is a sign of strength. The idea that leaders have unlimited skills and abilities to fill all the needs of a growing organization is simply a myth.
EOS gives your leadership team a framework to recognize when you’ve hit the ceiling—and the tools to pursue:
- A crystal-clear vision
- A clear structure of accountability for executing well
- Continued traction and momentum
- A healthy culture that spots anything that could take your organization off focus