October 12, 2015
I think the timing of this post is apropos as Halloween is right around the corner. Halloween. The time of the year that it is “okay” to do something scary. It would be my hope though that you wouldn’t wait till October every year to do something scary. We find that great companies, and people for that matter, need to do something scary every time they hit the ceiling, which happens more than you would think.
Hitting the ceiling is a natural phenomenon that happens to all companies, departments, and people. It is the point where you grow to a specific level and get stuck. You know this has happened when the organization stops growing, you will feel like you are in quicksand or molasses, or things have become overly complex and chaotic. You end up feeling like you are going through the motions but not getting the traction that you need. This is not an if, but a when for growing organizations. There was a great article written by Professor Larry Greiner called, “Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow”. Greiner explains the concept of hitting the ceiling and how he found that when companies hit the ceiling they need to revolutionize the way they do what they do. They have to make the game changing decision to take a new path to go to the next level.
Now, that sounds pretty scary, if you ask me. I have been trying to help my clients see that it really is the only way through the ceiling, it is in fact scary but it is much worse to stay caught in the current situation. Jen (my wife) and I were just talking about this very thing last night in regards to Nexus. She made reference to a change she thought I needed to make and said “It won’t feel very comfortable”. I thought she was understating it and said “That would be a bit scary for me. And, how exactly am I supposed to do that?”. A little light bulb went off. I had hit the ceiling and needed to take a bit of my own medicine.
If you are feeling stuck, or things have gotten a little too crazy, realize that it is time for you too to do something scary. Wish me luck and I will do the same for you. Happy Haunting.