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Growing Fast, Staying Nimble: The Unexpected Strategy


Hiring Process

Today's dynamic economic landscape, both startups and established enterprises face the formidable challenge of not just growing, but doing so quickly and efficiently. 

The pressure to expand rapidly while keeping costs in check is immense. 

As businesses reshape their models to adapt, finding ways to maximize output with minimal resources becomes paramount. It's within these high-speed growth environments that the true mettle of an organization is tested. However, if approached strategically, the rewards can be staggering, even in the face of setbacks. 


As a Fractional Talent Officer and drawing upon my extensive experience in scaling numerous business organizations, I've distilled four key insights into navigating the art and science of rapid growth.


1. Transparency is Key


It's crucial to share the strategic vision of the company beyond the leadership echelon. Without a comprehensive understanding of the overarching goals and plans, employees risk feeling disconnected from the growth trajectory. 


Transparent communication ensures everyone is aligned and aware of how their individual contributions fuel the collective success. Whereas, a lack of transparency breeds assumptions and limits teams, hindering their ability to see the bigger picture.

One of my personal favorite strategies is conducting weekly business reviews.

It might sound daunting but the outcome is phenomenal. The whole team shares their progress and challenges, which not only helps me understand where each team needs my support, but also allows other leaders and managers to share important insights from their business activities or meetings. 


Weekly business meetings supported by a document really drives ownership and helps to understand the areas where the team is consistently getting stuck and needs a greater discussion.


2. Document and Track Progress


Documenting goals across all levels and teams is essential for navigating rapid growth.

However, tracking progress is where the real magic happens. 

Regularly monitoring goal attainment allows for course corrections along the way. By understanding what accelerates or delays progress, you can make informed adjustments to stay on track. Without proper tracking, you risk reaching the end of a project only to realize it veered off course.


This is easily achieved with a simple shared spreadsheet or if your company uses project management software such as Asana or Jira, where you create your team's project plans as part of your standard operating procedure. 


This drives a high level of ownership and accountability and helps support goal attainment. 


Optimal practices include ensuring other teams are connected to the plan, ensuring unified efforts towards a common goal and facilitating swift adjustments when necessary. This approach also reinforces a culture of transparency.


3. Embrace a Culture of Acceptance Towards Failure


In rapid growth environments, failure is not just acceptable; it's expected. 

Failure serves as a catalyst for innovation. 

Encourage open discussions about failures and integrate mechanisms for analyzing and learning from them. Whether a failure yields unexpected positive outcomes or not, it's essential to leverage these experiences to propel future endeavors forward. 


A great tool is the Post Mortem document where the team documents lessons learned. Integrating this into your way of working will reinforce a culture of experimentation.


4. Avoid the Pitfall of Overstaffing


While the temptation to increase headcount in response to growth targets is strong, it often hampers rather than accelerates progress. Instead, leverage technology and automation to enhance efficiency.

 

Identify and eliminate friction in processes and structures to empower teams to operate at optimal speed. 


From Meta to DocuSign to Twilio, tech companies have laid off more than 313,000 workers since 2023, according to Layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks tech company layoffs. Across the board, CEO’s have cited overstaffing during the pandemic as one of the reasons for such massive cuts.


Smaller, agile teams with clear objectives can navigate rapid growth with precision. Streamlining processes, embracing automation, and fostering a culture of decisive action propel organizations towards success.


This leads to greater employee productivity and stronger focus on overall company goals. 


A Few Last Thoughts


As a Fractional Chief Talent Officer, I notice the constant push for growth. Handling fast expansion needs careful planning and flexibility. 


By fostering transparency, embracing failure, and empowering lean, agile teams, organizations can not only survive but thrive in the face of rapid change. 


Success in a high-growth environment is not just about moving fast; it's about moving forward with purpose and precision.

Reach out to me for a discussion.

About the Author

Angela Darilis, Fractional Chief Talent Officer

ANGELA DARILIS

Fractional Chief Talent Officer



Angela Darilis brings over 25 years of experience in the talent landscape, driving sustained organizational growth and success by helping companies shape and elevate strategic talent acquisition, workforce planning, and organizational development.


Read Angela’s bio


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