Part 20: How Small and Mid Sized Companies Become Large

In this next part of the series: “How Small and Mid Sized Firms Grow” we will discuss the pitfalls of working exclusively on using home grown solutions, instead of also learning from others to avoid their mistakes. This is the so called “not invented here syndrome”.

Every company has its own culture and way of doing things, some of those things lead to good results and others result in poor performance. Either way there is no company that can not benefit from some introspection and cross pollination of ideas to see what other companies and respected leaders have tried and see if any of those ideas can be utilized in their company. Many companies however think that they either know everything or are too insecure to try to learn new ways of doing things. Even the best performing companies are always looking to improve. To believe that the people in your organization have nothing to gain from the thousands of experts not already working for you leads complacency and loss of ones competitive edge. This does not mean that you adopt every new idea, but rather expose yourself to new ideas and see if there are not some colonels of truth in them that can be adopted by your company.

Many people think that if they are successful they have discovered the secrets of success and become insular. In today’s rapidly changing world nothing stays the same very long and it is constant innovation that is really the key to success over the long term.

CEO’s Jack Welsh and Jeffrey Immelt of GE famously launched their Work-Out program to break the old and outdated ways of thinking. They demanded their executives to be candid, flexible and fast to institute change in the company’s culture, habits and behavior. Their “Work-Out” program was perhaps the single most important element in making them the leader in their industry, using external consultants who helped design and deliver innovative solutions, from Noel Tichy and David Ulrich to Todd Jick Ron, Ashkenas and Steven Kerr. This process was documented in the book The GE Work-Out: How to Implement GE’s Revolutionary Method for Busting Bureaucracy and Attacking Organizational Problems”. These concepts resulted in the reengineering of GE and supercharged their productivity. The principles of their Work-Out program was credited in permeating their entire management culture. I could name numerous other companies who have adopted the same concept, just as I could list many others who fell by the wayside by staying their current course.

So you may ask how does this relate to my small or mid sized company? The answer is that management principles are universal, the terminology and scalability may be different but the same rules and principles apply.

In our next blog we will discuss”: Setting both personal and company standards of ethics and values”.

To see all articles in this series please go to

Optimal Management is the premier management consulting company to the staffing industry. We act as mentors to owners and managers to maximize their sales, profits and value of their company. We become an extension of our clients operations and are there for all of their staffing and business needs, from sales, marketing and compensation plans, to finance, M&A, general management and everything in between.

We welcome your questions as to personal and business challenges you face in order to grow.


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