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The Silent Complexity of Your Growing Team

05 April 2017

You are running a successful business, you have been working long hours, and now it is time to expand your team to manage the extra work.

This is a familiar scenario to most of my clients. Unfortunately, what often transpires is that when the team expands to meet the demand, the complexity issues that arise seem disproportionately extensive.

This can lead to you questioning your skills as a manager, a breakdown of company culture, and sometimes even less productivity than when your team was smaller.

In this video, I explain a formula that I share with my clients to help them get to grips with where this background complexity comes from. Once they understand it, they are far more in control and are better equipped to keep the team, the work, and the culture of the business intact.

If you would like to hear more about this please feel free to get in touch below.

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When you view each new team addition as a set of relationships with your existing team members, rather than just an individual, you can prepare for that level of management.

Once you understand this formula, you can then employ the strategies that we teach to manage complexity that comes with growth.

That means looking at induction strategies (like knowing the best day to start a new hire) and maintaining team management systems (such as not being a “got a minute boss” and setting up a strong company culture), which ensure that your new team hires can slide into place with minimum fuss and maximum satisfaction and productivity.

We are looking to invest in good businesses.

If you would like to have an obligation free discussion about selling your business, please email shweta@growthidea.co.uk. You can find more about our investment criterion on https://growthidea.co.uk/private-equity.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

What I want to talk about today is the silent complexity that exists in your business.

The Focus When You Grow Your Team

Now, when I’m working with my business clients, many of them get to a point where they are doing well and then, invariable, they end up extending their team size because they need more capacity.

At that point, of course, they are focusing on the size of the team, whether it’s going up one and a half, two times, three times. But what I remind them about is that it’s not just that number of team members that matter – there is another factor which is silent, which is there in the background, but a very critical one.

Straight away, that gives a sense of complexity to our clients and therefore how could they best preempt issues in the future. And, importantly, how to deal with those issues to make sure that the culture is right and the team stays absolutely productive at its best level so that they can move forward.

The Relationship Formula for Complexity in the Team

What I wanted to do was to share with you a simple formula and it might be interesting for you to calculate and to use that formula in your business.

Now this formula is:

(n^2 – n) /  2

n = the number of team members that you have in your business including yourself.

The output of this formula gives you the number of relationships that exist in your business.

For example, if it’s you and just another team member, so n is equal to 2 here.

Now let’s put it in this formula:

(2^2 – 2) / 2 = (4 – 2) / 2 = 2 / 2 = 1

So there is 1 relationship in the business, make sense right?

Now imagine there is this new team member who comes on board because the business is growing and you have not two but…

(3^2 – 3) / 2 = (9 – 3) / 2 = 6 / 2 = 3

three relationships here.

Now let’s look at another level. Imagine the team is growing so they’re looking at

(5^2 – 5) / 2 = (25 – 5) / 2 = 20 / 2 = 10

10 relationships in this business and the business is growing even more.

In this case, let’s say it goes to say 19 members so you’re looking at

(9^2 – 19) / 2 = (81 – 19) / 2 = 62 / 2 = 36 relationships.

Team Complexity Increases Exponentially

The point that you need to understand and really focus on is that though from this stage to this stage it feels that the team has gone 3 times, of course it is right? From 3 to 9, but then if you look at the numbers of the relationships they have jumped from 3 to 36 which is 12 times.

Can you imagine the level of complexity? Can you imagine the issues that can possibly occur in this business if one is not aware of that?

And that’s what I wanted to convey that if you are facing this level of complexity because of the way your business is performing, then please feel free to reach out. If you don’t deal with this it has the potential of sabotaging your business growth and its potential.

If you would like to discuss any of the points covered here, please feel free to request a free call below.

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We are looking to invest in good businesses.

If you would like to have an obligation free discussion about selling your business, please email shweta@growthidea.co.uk. You can find more about our investment criterion on https://growthidea.co.uk/private-equity.

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