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Business and/or team growth and how it can catch people unaware

I am in the hi technology industry and therefore I am very comfortable working at companies that are growing and leading teams that are growing.  Now let’s take a look at this year-to-year growth where the ellipses show the needs of the business.  In this example our employee, which we will call Mo, is represented by a star.

Year 1

The blue ellipse shows the business needs for Year 1.  Mo is doing pretty well in Year 1 because his skills put him on the high end of the business needs.  Therefore he is well within his comfort zone to deliver against the needs of the business.

Year 2

The greenish ellipse shows the business needs for Year 2 have moved on from where they were in Year 1.  Mo is not doing very well here though because he barely has the skills needed to successfully meet the business needs.  Mo is going to have to have to step up and grow his skills.  Mo needs to either have the self awareness that the business needs are changing or he could be caught unawares that his skills not longer meeting the business needs.

Year 3

The orange ellipse shows the business needs for Year 3.  Mo is in serious trouble here because he does not have the skills needed to meet the business needs.

The disadvantages of this model

  • In Year 3 Mo might find himself unemployed or marginalized due to his skills not meeting the business needs.
  • In Year 3, the business might need to go through the expenses of recruiting someone that can meet the needs of the business.
  • Replacing Mo will not only disrupt the team dynamics but it will also take time for the new person to acclimatise to the business.

Improved Situation

Now let’s take look at another scenario where Mo is not stagnant and grows his skills in a similar direction to what the business is moving in.

Year 1

The blue ellipse shows the business needs for Year 1.  Mo is doing pretty well in Year 1 because his skills put him on the high end of the business needs.  Therefore he is well within his comfort zone to deliver against the needs of the business.

Years 2 & 3

The greenish ellipse shows the business needs for Year 2 have moved on from where they were in Year 1.  Mo’s skills have improved too and he is keeping track and staying aligned with the needs of the business.

The benefits

There are significant benefits to Mo growing his skills.

  • People that are growing tend to find their work roles to be much more rewarding and therefore are much happier employees.
  • If one person grows, they tend to drag the rest of the team along the road too, ultimately resulting in a team climate of growth.
  • Because Mo’s growth is parallel with the business needs, they both win because he can customize his growth to meet the needs of the business.  The business gets someone that is really closely aligned with the needs.
  • The team dynamics continue to improve and grow because people get to knw each other better and therefore they are able to work better as a more cohesive unit.

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