When companies grow and get to a certain size – say, 3-400 employees – the tendency is to add layers of management and middle-management to set the stage for the future growth.
That’s when something typically happens that ends up actually hindering the growth they are seeking.
It is the time when the company stops solving interesting problems and starts serving individual agendas.
It is the time of more and more meetings to find alignment, the time of blaming it on others, the time of politics and gossiping. It is a time dominated by opinions and personal anecdotes. Facts lose importance. Indeed, they barely get measured because everyone is busy pleasing those up the ranks while trying to come out first among peers.
It is where motivation dies and talent retention becomes a serious problem.
So when you hire or promote managers for your growing company, ask them not about their previous experience and their track record. Ask them instead how they plan to manage their team, how they will be handling conflict and contrasting ideas, how they will be making decisions and manage the change that comes from those decisions.
These hires will determine your possibility to get to the next phase. Be intentional about them.