Helping businesses on their Maturity Journey: Breaking the Bottleneck

If a company employs less than 10 people, the owner will usually be aware of all activities and that of everyone else. As the business grows, this will change and leaders must follow the right steps to ensure that the journey to maturity is smooth. If a company has between 5-10 employees, the owner will usually be aware of all that is happening. As you grow your business, this will change. According to the “Rule of Seven”, a manager should have seven direct reports. They have the time and resources to provide leadership and manage oversight. You can push it up to 10, but beyond that, it’s impossible to do a great deal with each direct reporting. The business is strained and bottlenecked in leadership.
Michael Gerber’s “The E-Myth” describes business owners as a mix of Technicians, Managers, and Entrepreneurs. However, we are mostly technicians who love the technical aspects of our businesses. It’s not something we are comfortable with, so it’s difficult to assume the role of Entrepreneur or Manager, especially when things get tough.
It’s not easy to find the right path to growth
A growing company with seven to eight employees begins to groom the best technician to become a manager or leader of service delivery. This will theoretically allow the owner to spend more time on sales to feed the machine that is becoming increasingly hungry. This is the first step in a company’s “Maturity Journey”.
Because the owner isn’t equipped to give proper training or leadership, this means that the new service manager is often left to their own devices to learn how they can manage. The typical one-year result is that the owner is still heavily involved in service management, and the best technician is now less billable. Profitability seems to be enough to keep the business afloat, but it lacks consistency in quality of service.
This can often lead to an effort to improve delivery consistency and a renewed focus on attempting to measure key performance indicators (KPIs). It feels futile at first because all the business data doesn’t make sense. Then you realize that there is no standardization and consistency in the way processes are done. Every employee seems to have their best practice, which suits them best.
The second stage of the Maturity Journey focuses on creating a standard process and procedure that, once implemented, will produce better business data that can easily be measured. KPIs at this maturity stage are very useful because the owners and leaders still have a good sense of what is happening. They are close enough to the daily client interactions, individual tickets and projects as well as account management activities.
Operational Excellence: Implementation
Change is a constant threat to employees’ happiness and can lead to lower employee satisfaction. Employees will be less concerned if you embrace five phases operational excellence.
Learn from others to learn the best practices
Document your new processes
Training the team
The new process should be implemented
Expect to Inspect.
I prefer to say the last one backwards, because compliance can only be expected if you continuously inspect. The first four phases can be performed by any competent manager. To navigate Phase 5, it will take all of your leadership skills. Although it may not feel like you’re making progress, it is where the most important steps are taken. When the KPIs begin to match your gut feeling, you will know that you have reached the end of the second stage.
The third stage of your Maturity Journey will see a new level in leadership between the owner as well as the front-line workers. The leadership team now runs the company, which includes the owner, finance manager, and service manager.
As the owner’s intuition becomes less accurate, the dependency on accurate KPIs grows. Because the team is no longer working hand in hand with the owner, culture becomes more difficult to manage. Companies in the third stage need to establish their mission, vision, core values. Until a management strategy like Scaling Up or EOS can be adopted and implemented, accountability within the leadership team will decrease. If owners have successfully transferred daily responsibilities from their company to other members of the team, it is a sign that they are exiting the third stage.
As the

Helping businesses on their Maturity Journey: Breaking the Bottleneck
Scroll to top