At the 10+ location practice level, another set of issues appears. Even though you now have your spreadsheets, KPIs, SOPs, operational policies, organizational charts, defined accountabilities, experienced staff and senior executives in the right positions, it’s still not working at the level you know is possible.
You’re just not firing on all cylinders.
Your numbers aren’t bad, but they’re not great either. Expenses seem a little out of control, but you’re working on that. The company feels sluggish — not acutely responsive. It feels as though it takes longer than it should to get things done. Everything requires too much effort. It’s hard to sustain your momentum.
Most of your attention so far has been on financing, operations, systems and processes, and hiring for skill. You’ve achieved moderate growth through scaling and replication, but now growth is stagnant. You need more energy to make things happen.
What is missing that would significantly increase productivity and directly enhance performance? What has been neglected or overlooked?
The answer: Leadership and culture.
The quality and potency of leadership that got you to this level won’t get you much higher. The senior team — not just you — needs to lead. Your senior team needs to be more responsible and accountable, and operate with greater integrity. They need to be far more self-governing and self-managing. That means your leadership must also transform to include more than one leader.
The culture that has been loosely developed does not have the conditions necessary for solid trusting relationships, strong communication, or consistent enforcement of accountabilities. Culture is the king — not a bunch of pawns on the board.
It’s now time for strong leadership development of yourself and the senior staff, in addition to focused cultural development throughout the enterprise.