Before attending our meeting Amy sent out a link of 27 Challenges -Stages of Growth from the book "The 7 Stages of Growth" by James Fischer.  We were to review the list and circle our top five challenges we are experiencing in our workplace. 

The 7 Stages of Growth were represented by the number of staff, number of managers, number of executives:

1.  Start-Up                      CEO is basically doing everything in growing the company and in survival

2.  Ramp-Up                     CEO continues to focus on growth and starts to delineate responsibilities

3.  Delegation                   CEO must start to relinquish control and needs to have staff buy-in

4.  Professional                 CEO needs to hire professional managers who have a successful track record

5.  Integration                  CEO needs to focus on unifying the organization

6.  Strategic                     CEO needs to create and implement strategy, create a culture and core values are key

7.  Visionary                     CEO must be the visionary; must not lose sight of the targets 

Growth = Complexity and at each stage there needs to be an understanding of what is needed from the CEO.  As the company grows it is critical that the CEO grows and is flexible regarding their leadership and what is needed for the organization to stay focused and at the same time continue to grow the company.  

During all 7 Stages of Growth there are 3 "Gates of Focus"; Priority, People, Process.  Although all of these are present at each "Gate of Focus" they take on a specific standing at each stage of growth.  

Amy then asked us how we rated the list of challenges that we each face in our organizations and related that to the 7 Stages of Growth.  She then posed the question as an employer what do I need to do to get to the next level?

Amy then reviewed the "Three Faces of the Leader Blend" : Visionary, Manager and Specialist and when are each of these needed in the organization based on the stage that the company is in.  

We then had a robust conversation regarding the "Five Primary Challenges of a Company":

1.  Cash flow

2.  Hiring quality people

3.  Staff buy-in

4.  Weak project management

5.  Improve sales