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© 2024 N. Dean Meyer and Associates Inc.
Excerpt from www.NDMA.COM, © 2024 N. Dean Meyer and Associates Inc.

Book: How Organizations Should Work

Use Case: The Founder Bottleneck

as small companies grow, they often hit a ceiling where the founder is the constraint

by N. Dean Meyer

[excerpt from the book, How Organizations Should Work]

You've successfully grown the firm to this point, but now it feels like you're running into constraints to further growth. Everybody is working hard (especially you), and things are getting done. But it feels harder than it should; and the firm doesn't seem to have the capacity to do much more.

The problem is not business strategies, products, or talent. If it were, you wouldn't have gotten this far.

"A venture's founder doesn't have to become the constraint to growth. Dean Meyer's organizational principles free the founder for strategic thinking while reinforcing an entrepreneurial culture."
Max Henry
serial entrepreneur and coach to venture CEOs

The problem is that your organizational operating model isn't scalable.

And a critical part of that is that too much depends on you. You've become the bottleneck to growth!

You see, when the company was small, you knew everything going on in every corner of the organization. You were positioned to decide strategies, set priorities, form and lead teams, and oversee everything.

But now, no matter how many hours you put in, there's not enough of you to go around. People are waiting in line for your decisions. You're the bottleneck. You've become the constraint to growth.

"Technology venture leaders, once you get above about a dozen employees, organizational processes matter as much as people and technology/products.

[Meyer] equips you to design an organization that solves today's problems, gets you through the next inflection point, and is scalable and sustainable -- the foundation for growth and value creation."
Charlie Shalvoy, seasoned tech venture CEO

Meanwhile, and equally harmful, you're not giving your people a chance to grow and perform. You're wasting precious minds. And you're not developing the next generation of leaders.

You know you need to empower your team and delegate more. But you can't risk chaos. The organization needs enterprise coordination and control.

The crux of the problem is this: Right now, you are that coordinating mechanism. And you can't just stop doing it. That would lead to chaos.

Of course, you want to stay in control of major decisions like strategies, key hires, and big investments. But at the same time, you need to rise above the day-to-day.

"Even in the smallest companies, organizational processes matter! In fact, [Meyer's] concepts are best implemented at that early stage of growth. They clarify who's accountable for what, and (perhaps more importantly) whose job it is to think about all the things we're not yet thinking about. And they build an organization that scales while maintaining entrepreneurship at every level."
August J. Ceradini, Jr.,
President/Partner (Former), Circle Line & World Yacht;
and Chairman Emeritus, Culinary Institute of America

To do that, you need to install mature organizational processes. But you can't afford to bury the company in bureaucracy.

The Market Organization is a scalable organizational operating model, with mature processes that actually enhance your entrepreneurial culture.

In it, every group is an entrepreneurial business within a business. Everyone is accountable for results (not just managing resources and processes). Teams form dynamically across the enterprise. And work is well coordinated and controlled with a minimum of top-down oversight.

You're at a critical point of transition -- for you and your company. Continued growth depends on your ability to build a scalable, empowered, entrepreneurial organizational operating model.

It's time for you to work on the machine, not just in the machine. At this critical inflection point, your organizational strategy is more important than your business strategies.

The Market Organization gives you the blueprint -- a clear description of how an organization built on the business-within-a-business paradigm works. And it gives you the engineering principles, as well as participative change-management processes to engage your leaders in thinking out-of-the-box about your future organization.

The Founder Bottleneck


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