EGOS™ - Stage 7 Company

Visionary: 161-350 Employees

Congratulations to Stage 7
of your Organization Growth Journey

You have progressed to a Stage 7 company! In Stage 5, you integrated the organization to operate as a single unit, rather than several independent departments.

In Stage 6, you became more focused on the strategic future of the business. Now in Stage 7, it is time to re-install the entrepreneurial spirit in your organization. Now in Stage 6, it is time for you to become focused on the strategic future and begin to take advantage of opportunities that are now available because of your size.

This information is based on our proprietary and highly effective EGOS – Stages of Growth business model, initially developed by James Fischer.

Fischer created the 7 Stages of Growth business model based on extensive research of entrepreneurial companies.His research demonstrates that as companies add more people, the complexity level of the organization increases.

You are reading critical information from the research that will help you:

Every business is unique, and these insights may have some information that may not suit you and your business, but most of them it will. We hope you find the takeaways helpful. VRT Management Group, LLC aims to help you “navigate the growth curve” as you move forward, offer you an infusion of hope (what you are experiencing is not unusual), and give you some pointers on what you can do to move to the next level of success.

After you read this information, feel free to set up a complimentary call with our advisor to discuss your unique situation. Our advisors have over 30+ years of experience and have worked with over 110+ small and medium businesses in the past few years.

What does a Stage 7 company look like?

A Stage 7 company has 161-500 employees.

A CEO’s challenge in Stage 7 is all about transitioning into a large organization without losing what made it such a successful entrepreneurial business. Management’s efforts to professionalize the company often crush the entrepreneurial spirit that is so necessary not to be left behind by newer entrepreneurial firms. A Stage 7 company has between 161– 500 employees.

Because of its size, the company has started to form layers of bureaucracy that quickly impede performance and growth. Stage 7, called the Visionary Stage, is a very different world than what’s been encountered in the first six stages.

As the CEO listens to his/her direct reports as well as what other employees are saying to each other, is he/she hearing any of the following:

If the CEO isn’t telling employees what’s going on, they are making it up on their own. The employees’ verbiage is much different than the leader’s. Theirs is more than likely full of fear, uncertainty, negative speak, and attitude.

The primary role of the leader is to spend 75% of his/her time as the Visionary. The leader needs to engage, excite, and empower employees to think about and see the new vision of where the company is going from here. The CEO should spend time communicating the vision, the strategic plan, and his/her desire to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit of the company that got it where it is today. The CEO needs to make sure he/she is walking the talk.

Don’t let the company fall prey to the invisible employee syndrome. There are now enough employees in the company that the mediocre ones can simply disappear from the day-to-day operations. There may be employees in the company that just aren’t performing at the level they should. It’s sometimes easy to overlook them, allowing these employees to become invisible, and if the leaders do, they are making a mistake.

Don’t let them become an invisible negative force in the company — either focus on raising their performance level or part ways.

Profit / Revenue

People

Process

While managing this dynamic organization is the CEO’s number one priority (50% of the time), there should be a shift toward a significant Visionary role (45% of the time). Managers should be running the day-to-day operations, while the leader focuses his/her attention on developing strategies to maintain and capture new opportunities.The Specialist role is diminished to insignificance (5% of the time). Still, the leader must continue to understand how well the product/ service is meeting the needs of the ever-changing market and customers.

Required Leadership Skill Base:

To recapture the same entrepreneurial spirit necessary in Stage 1.

The goal is to create a corporate culture that supports entrepreneurial endeavors. The leader’s job is to sustain and propagate the vision and create a degree of disequilibrium and chaos within the company to keep it competitive in all areas. Don’t be afraid to ignite fires of entrepreneurism throughout the company, giving people a sense of what can happen, a new sense of purpose, and a desire to step outside the box and find new and better ways to deliver products and services.

The Top Five Challenges in Stage 7

While managing this transformation, the CEO’s number one priority will be the Visionary role (75% of the time). The managers should be running the day-to-day operations, while the leader focuses his/her attention on developing a vision, strategies, and culture to reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit.

The Specialist role is diminished to insignificance (5% of the time). Still, the leader must continue to understand how well the product or service is meeting the needs of the ever-changing market and customers.

A company in Stage 7 will have an overwhelming tendency to gravitate toward safety and equilibrium.

It will start to act like a large company — its decision-making is slower, the product innovation is slower, and the bureaucracy is formidable. It’s harder to respond as quickly as a smaller, more agile organization. A leader’s job in a company of this size is to sustain and to propagate the vision of the company effectively. It is also his or her job to create a degree of disequilibrium and chaos within the enterprise.

Visionary
( 75% of the time)

Specialist
( 5% of the time)

CEO
( 20% of the time )

What’s the goal of the CEO? Create a corporate culture that supports entrepreneurial endeavors. How? Start by going through the company lighting fires of inspiration and innovation. Be relentless in allowing for mistakes in the pursuit of new endeavors. Get out from underneath the strategic and operational challenges to identify and carve out new opportunities.

As the leader navigates through Stage 7, the primary goal is to re-instill an entrepreneurial spirit in the business. The CEO needs to create a corporate culture and structure that supports entrepreneurial endeavors. Re-instilling the entrepreneurial spirit that the business had when it was a much smaller, much more agile company is critical.

Builder / Protector Ratio

The Builder/Protector Ratio (BPR) is a measurement of “confidence vs. caution.” It is critical tool to gauge the business’ ability to accept change, respond with confidence to change, and successfully navigate the change.

Builders

Protectors

For Stage 7, the Builder/Protector Ratio is 2:1 – two builders to one protector. This is an aggressive BPR.

It is aggressive because the CEO needs to instill the entrepreneurial spirit by encouraging risk-taking and challenging the status quo. However, there needs to be some caution to avoid overconfidence or carelessness, which could give competitors an opening to attack.

Identifying new opportunities, fostering exploration, developing action plans, and assigning the necessary resources to manifest those plans is the new paradigm. There might also be several other options to consider — from creating smaller entrepreneurial divisions by product/service to spinning off ventures as separate entities.

Foundation Building Blocks for Stage 7

STRATEGIC PLAN

Implement a sophisticated strategic plan that addresses how to create competitive advantages.The plan should address markets, products, resources, operational processes, management systems, and company culture. Use the board of directors to develop the plan.

WORK COMMUNITY

Implement a sophisticated strategic plan that addresses how to create competitive advantages.The plan should address markets, products, resources, operational processes, management systems, and company culture. Use the board of directors to develop the plan.

MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Utilize a performance management system that addresses objectives, goals, measurement, feedback, evaluation, and rewards. There should also be a project management system and templates.

FINANCIAL SYSTEM

The financial system should include a three-year profit plan, financial modeling, cash flow forecast and dashboard.

MARKETING/SALES

Develop a well-defined sales and marketing system for salespeople to use. Have a customer intelligence system to stay abreast of customer and market data.

The strategic focus the CEO is now using will not work without the buy-in of the leadership team and the entire staff. Seize the opportunity to tune into the perspectives of the team. An emotionally connected leader who will listen and learn will be rewarded with steady growth, targeted planning, and engaged employees. It is also about improving the quality of his/her staff from hiring to assimilating and unify the team by making them an essential part of the company’s success.

In Stage 7, it’s also critical to strategically rethink the company’s positioning in the market. It is no longer a big fish in a small pond, but a small fish in the ocean and the company’s ability to survive just took on a different focus. But, there are also new opportunities available because of the size of the business. Challenging all assumptions as they relate to the leader’s vision, mission, customer needs, and products and services is crucial. Don’t allow managers to rehash old issues simply.

The CEO’s challenge is to become the Visionary senior executive while still maintaining the teamwork and collaboration that are crucial to leading the team into the future. The leader needs to engage, excite, and empower the employees to think about and see the new vision of where the company is headed. Spend time communicating the vision, the strategic plan, and the desire to re-instill the entrepreneurial spirit of the company — the very culture that got it where it is today. Then the CEO needs to make sure he/she is walking the talk.

As the CEO evolves into a Visionary executive, the leadership modality (how to lead the whole company, the leadership’s presence in the company) should be Dominant. This is important, as he/she becomes a catalyst to innovation, risk-taking, and challenging the status quo.

The Non-Negotiable Leadership Rules

Summary

VRT Management Group LLC created a custom program called Entrepreneur Growth Operating System™ (EGOS™) to help companies just like yours navigate the challenges that are typical for a Stage 7 organization. We have designed programs, services, and tools that are directly tied to the issues faced by Stage 7 leaders and their businesses.

We always welcome an opportunity to have a 45-minute conversation with CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and Business owners to understand their current challenges and share a couple of best practices to help them navigate through their challenges.

We strongly encourage you to avail of this complimentary opportunity. Over 151 of your peers have received tremendous value through these Zoom sessions.

VRT Management Group, LLC (VRT) is a Business Transformation Company with a single focus: serving our customers to solve their toughest problems by building people and transforming business processes.
Our unique strength comes from integrating people and processes best practices to address your ever evolving customers’ needs

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