Management Articles


Speed Kills Business Too

By: Robert H. Kent, Ph.D., CMC

President of The Mansis Development Corporation, Dr. Kent is a specialist in the structure and management of small and medium-sized organizations, and frequently serves as a personal coach and management consultant to executives for solving their management and employee performance problems. Before founding his consulting company, Bob held senior management and executive positions in federal and provincial government and private corporations. He has been a director of several health care and service organizations and a consulting member of private and government task forces in the areas of government finance, organization structure, personnel management and executive development. Since 1972 he has lectured in management at several Canadian and American universities in the faculties of Management, Administrative Studies, Medicine and Continuing Education where he has been an award winner for excellence in teaching and professional expertise; and he has published over 125 books and articles on management.

Growth is an imperative for the survival of many new, small businesses who must gain market share quickly to attract resources and legitimacy. And success frequently goes to those who grow the fastest. But there are dangers and dilemmas on this road.

In order to grow and survive, it is recommended that small entrepreneurial-lead businesses eventually become "systems dependent" rather than "personality dependent." Many companies, when young and small, have a simple structure and operate by informal hands-on control. The founder assumes multiple roles and makes most decisions.

Growth involves increasing complexity, requiring changes in structure and procedures, and mechanisms for integration across the business. The founder must delegate functions and accountability to others. The formula for success cannot remain a secret inside the founder's head but must be systematized, documented and eventually managed professionally.

But being small can present many hurdles to businesses trying to become more professional - for example difficulties recruiting top class management because of problems meeting high salary requirements; lack of formal management skills; lack of resources for developing new technologies; a disadvantage because of size when negotiating with suppliers or clients; and higher costs of capital.

And if you're planning fast growth, be prepared for the following.

Success Myopia.
Growth Treadmill.
Need for Capital.
Entrepreneur/Management Conflict.

© Copyright 2001 The Mansis Development Corporation

Other Articles by Robert H. Kent, Ph.D., CMC

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