It looks like there is a new silent killer out there when it comes to organizational and team success. Size. Which is somewhat of a paradox considering growth is viewed as success. If something is great of course more people are going to want whatever it is you offer. As leaders, do we deny an obvious demand? The modern issue with growth is it slows our ability to change and adapt. Growth causes more structure. Growth causes more policy. Growth causes more procedures. Growth causes a team to increase the amount of people involved. And people...well people have a hard time with changing structure, changing policy, and changing procedures. The larger an organization or team grows it becomes like a large ship that struggles to turn. When technology has provided us so many means of accelerated work and communication can our organizations move slowly without sinking?
I think it depends on what kind of resources your organization or team is investing in innovation. It wasn't uncommon for big ships to have spotters. Individuals who kept their eyes on the horizon to make sure the direction of the ship wasn't aiming at disaster. Who's doing that for your team? Who has their eyes on the horizon for disaster but even more has their eyes looking for opportunity. This modern world is offering opportunity all the time. It may not be an opportunity for revenue it might be an opportunity for more efficiency or a clearer way to communicate. The bigger the organization the more eyes need to be on the horizon looking for both pitfalls and opportunities. The organization or team most threatened by growth is led by the leader who can hear the spotter's advice but believes the ship is unsinkable or insists the direction of the ship is greater than the threat. Don't be that guy or gal. You might think you're proving the strength of the ship to everyone but we know how that story ends.
How are you encouraging innovation on your team? What have you learned by having eyes on the horizon? Would love to hear about your experience in the comment section below!