24 de jul. 2016

When organizations are growing

Larry Grainer wrote this article in 1972. In 1998 it was republished in Harvard Business Review as a Classic. The author removed some outdated material from the opening sections. He also wrote a commentary “Revolution is still inevitable,” to update his observations.

He described in the article how organizations develop and he designed 6 phases of growth that includes in each phase a period of relatively stable growth (evolution) followed by a stage of crisis (revolution) when major organizational change is needed if the company is to carry on growing. This crisis period it's not a bad thing it's a "change period or turning point".
  1. Phase 1: Creativity. Crisis: Leadership
  2. Phase 2: Direction. Crisis: Autonomy
  3. Phase 3: Delegation. Crisis: Control
  4. Phase 4: Coordination. Crisis: Red Tape
  5. Phase 5: Collaboration. Crisis: Internal growth crisis
  6. Phase 6: Alliances
This is still a useful model, however not all businesses will go through these phases and crisis in this order. We could use this as a starting point for thinking about our business growth, and adapt it to our circumstances.

Access to the article (.pdf): Larry Greiner (1998) HBR Classic

photo: (*) Photosolde