Last week, a Founder client was preparing for a full day all hands meeting to reinforce the company’s values and to update their team on changes to their organisation structure.
In his presentation his HR team referred to the “Final Organisation Chart”.
This is a company that is well on the way to 10Xing.
As CEO or Founder of a small to mid-sized company, one of the most important roles you occupy is that of a strategic architect, mapping out the growth and development trajectory of your business.
Amidst the myriad decisions you’ll need to make, one often underrated area is the assignment of titles within your organisation.
Initially, when you’re working with a small team of 8 to 30 staff members, handing out impressive titles can seem harmless, even motivating. Titles such as ‘Director’ or ‘Head of Operations’ offer recognition, a sense of ownership, and can foster an environment of commitment and loyalty.
However, as you gear up to scale, these initial title assignments can potentially turn into roadblocks.
Let’s delve into the possible scenario: As your business expands, you’ll naturally require more seasoned professionals to manage larger teams, complex projects, and strategic plans. Now, if your existing team members already carry high-profile titles, introducing senior executives can be a challenge. Your team may see it as a demotion, creating a rift, leading to a drop in morale, or even worse, losing valuable team members.
So how do you circumvent this potential minefield? The solution lies in strategic foresight and clear communication.
One approach is to opt for functional, role-specific titles in the early stages, such as “Marketing Manager”, “Operations Manager”, “Head of Marketing” or “Head of Product Development.” This way, your team members have a clear idea of their roles without unnecessary hierarchical implications.
When it’s time to bring in a Vice President or a Chief Officer, their titles reflect their added responsibilities and experience without appearing to demote or diminish the role of your existing team.
It’s essential, however, to communicate your intentions and rationale clearly with your team to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Remember, a title is more than just a designation; it’s a psychological contract that defines authority, sets expectations, and impacts motivation.
It’s an integral part of your company’s culture and future growth.
Therefore, thoughtfulness in assigning titles can ensure smooth transitions, maintain team morale, and ultimately, help your business scale successfully.
In conclusion, as a CEO or founder, you have a unique opportunity to create a company culture that celebrates growth, fosters transparency, and values each team member’s contributions.
As you plan your scaling strategy, consider how title assignments can support your overall vision and promote a healthy, sustainable company structure. Your journey from a small team to a more extensive operation need not be a path of tension and confusion, but one of opportunity, learning, and growth.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready to Scale Up your company, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your coaching business:
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