The flip-side of scaling

📈Scaling means growing, right? And that usually means hiring more people, levelling up your technology stack, adding more processes (hopefully not too much), upgrading your governance etc, and so on. 

⚖️ Having a business “at scale”, means you have a business with the right amount of people, processes, technology, structure etc. to solve your challenges. The business is at a balance. Not too much, not too little, just right. I personally like to add that a business “at scale” is also flexible to address changes, meaning if the business grows faster than expected or not, it can easily adjust. These 4 steps help you to scale. They influence each other, but start with 1.

  1. Which products/services are you (not) going to offer (in the future) and how? (Product & Technology)
  2. What skills do you need, how many people? (People)
  3. What processes (governance, way of working, compliance etc.) do you need? (Process)
  4. And how will 1,2,3 be flexible enough to easily adjust in new circumstances?

📉But what if…the business is not growing and/or the economy is slowing down? 

🪙 Flip-side
That usually means you need to “shrink”, “downsize”, “restructure” and/or “reorganise”. “Shrinking” is the flip-side of the same scaling coin.

Again you need to find the right balance of products, people, technology, structure, governance, way of working etc. Finding that balance involves the exact same list in a “scaling for growth” situation. And here also, start with 1. With “de-scaling” the most important things what NOT to do anymore, saying NO to things. And then see what you will be doing and who you need for that. 

🙈Unfortunately, most companies just choose to cut costs and let people go, without taking the 4 scaling steps. And within month they have a scaling problem again…

Keep your organisation “at scale” all the time, and challenging times won’t be such a drama.