Many of us have experienced a growing company. One of the things I hear frequently is variations of a common sentiment: “When we were only”, “Wish we were still that way”, “Remember when we were”. I’ve been guilty of expressing these thoughts too. So what’s the problem with this? Well, I’m realizing how damaging this thought process can be…
Over the past year, I’ve been able to experience a “fast forward” to what could be. One of the reasons that I wanted to go back into the coaching/consulting world, was to experience breadth of various cultures. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced this sentiment too many times to count even when what’s in front of me is amazing.
For starters, people put rose colored glasses on the past. Suddenly, the optimal situation is behind them. Yet, if you really dive into the history, rarely was it ideal.
Next, people dismiss the realities of today by comparing apples and oranges. Yep, a 30 person company is not the same as 100, 1000, 10000, etc. Each size has it’s own set of challenges and opportunities. Personally, I have a preference towards the 1-500 person companies but that in itself is a HUGE range of complexities. How I would approach a problem in a 30 person company is different than how I might approach it within a 500 person company. That’s the magic…getting to grow individually as a company grows. Don’t be quick to dismiss learning new ways because you liked your old ways. No matter how much you try…500 is not 30, period.
Mostly, this thought is not productive. As easy as it is to just reminisce and blame x, y, and z…if your company is not what you want it to be today, then recreating the past won’t likely work. The past stopped working for a reason, create a new culture/future for tomorrow. You might even surprise yourself that it’s even better then the past.
For those that truly do not enjoy a larger company, then understand that. As your company grows, don’t drag others down but find your next small company. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if you stay…grow, grow with the company. It will not be the same as when it was 30 people but it can be awesome too. Leverage lessons from the past but focus on the future.
How do you avoid the excuse of a quick growing company?