Preparing your organization for growth (McKinsey Quarterly)

Companies that address their organizational weaknesses as they implement growth strategies give themselves an advantage.

MAY 2011 • Martin Dewhurst, Suzanne Heywood, and Kirk Rieckhoff

Most senior managers pay close attention to the strategic side of growth—the “wheres,” “whens,” and “hows.” Yet many underestimate the importance of organizational factors in translating a growth strategy into reality. This oversight can dampen a company’s growth plans: organizational processes and structures that are well suited to today’s challenges may well buckle under the strain of new demands or make it impossible to meet them. Likewise, key employees may lack the skills needed to cope with the additional complexity that growth brings. By reviewing the experiences of three organizations that faced the stresses imposed by new growth initiatives, this article seeks to illustrate such “pain points” and suggests some approaches for coping with them.

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