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7 Stages of Growth Definitions

Definitions for the 7 Stages of Growth

7 Stages of Growth

An enterprise growth development modes created by James Fischer based on a nine year national research project with over 700 CEO’s. The study recognized that companies grow in complexity and that the complexity level is created by people, not profits or revenue. The model identifies 7 stages of growth based on the number of people and introduces an imaginary line that moves between chaos and equilibrium in companies with fewer than 500 employees.

Three Gates of Focus

The People Gate, the Profit/Revenue Gate and the Process Gate. Every issue, circumstance or experience within a growing enterprise can be understood or communicated through one or more of these three gates. The use of the Three Gates allows for usage of a common language to address a problem, find a solution or innovate a new way of looking at a challenge.

  • Profit/Revenue Gate

    All issues and concerns that center on and affect the revenue generation and profitability of the company. Predicting growth by maximizing and anticipating capacity issues.

  • People Gate

    All issues and concerns that center on and affect the people of a company. Building competency and innovation through the conscious development of people.

  • Process Gate

    All issues and concerns that center on the affect the processes and procedures of an enterprise. Transforming complexity into clarity through systems.

Builder/Protector Ratio

The needed balance between Builders—a mindset that essentially advances the organization to the next stage of growth and Protectors—a mindset that essentially guards and protects the company’s assets. The Builder/Protector Ratio in a company changes with each stage of growth. Builders tend to look for new opportunities; they enjoy risk and embrace change. Protectors are risk-adverse, aren’t comfortable with change and like to slow things down. The correct balance between Builders and Protectors is critical in order to manage growth.

Modality

Modality is the degree of ‘direct or indirect influence’ a leader applies to manifest the company’s goals and is measured by a leader’s Mode of involvement expressed as Dominant, Facilitative or Supportive. The manner in which a person reacts to a situation can directly or indirectly influence and/or affect outcomes. This Modality of a CEO, a Manager or an Employee changes based on a company’s stage of growth.

Three Faces of a Leader

At any one time, a leader of an organization wears three different faces. Those three faces are: Visionary, Manager and Specialist. All are important. A Visionary can take the most insignificant situation and turn it into an opportunity. A Manager creates order and focuses on the pragmatic systems and procedures that make a company run well. A Specialist is action-oriented and detail focused, driven to complete tasks and centers on results, or ideas. The requirements of the leader and these three faces change based on each stage of growth.

Wind Tunnel

One of two transition zones that occur as a company is moving from one stage of growth to another. A Wind Tunnel is the transition zone that requires letting go of methodologies that no longer work and creating new ones that do. As such leadership must discover new management methods and tools to address the challenges of the company. A Wind Tunnel occurs between Stages 2 & 3; 4 & 5; 6 & 7. Transition zones are a natural result of the company preparing for the next stage of growth.

Flood Zone

One of two transition zones that occur as a company is moving from one stage of growth to another. A Flood Zone requires bearing up to an increase in the quantity of activity. This is the transition zone where there is a flood of activity to such an extent that there is never enough staff to handle all the work. A Flood Zone occurs between Stages 1 & 2; 3 & 4; 5 & 6. Transition zones are a natural result of the company preparing for the next stage of growth.

Learn More:

The 7 Stages of Enterprise Growth

The Growth X-Ray Process

 

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