I was doing a teambuilding session with the CEO of a successful company recently and his 3 key reports and at the end he asked me for permission to let go of something that was killing him.
This is a company that has been growing and adding people for about 2 years now. In the early days the CEO had the luxury of close communication with his key people. He was able to act as a hub and filter for information between departments, sheltering them from distractions, and keeping everyone more productive. It was getting harder and harder for him to maintain it now.
I wasn’t surprised. I often find some habits business owners develop in the early days stop serving them as the company grows.
I asked him if he wanted to let go of that. He strained to answer, “Yes I would”, as if the very thought of it meant showing weakness. With his department heads present, we agreed on some parameters for them to communicate directly with each other, while keeping the CEO informed on the important issues. Things got done a lot faster from that point on.
The well-meaning CEO had become a bottleneck. Recognizing and fixing bottlenecks in communication flow or workflow is a critical skill in a growing business. What’s your bottleneck?
Clint Best is a business coach and the founder of Kaizen Business Coaching in Kelowna, BC and is a certified values blueprint partner. Clint has been guiding forward thinking business owners through change and growth since 2002.