Scaling Up Excellence – Notes from Chapter 2 (Part 3 of 3)

There are numerous scaling choices including…

* national culture v organization mindset (how strongly should you weigh each when you expand to a new country?)

* careful advanced planning v learning by doing (how and when do you make the trade-off?)

* centralization v decentralization (how much power should rest with a few people at the top v many people throughout the organization?) do you believe loss of control will mean a loss of excellence?

* make, buy or rent decision (is it better to create your own pocket of excellence, buy an existing team, or smaller organization that has what you need, or rent consultants to develop and spread excellence to your people?) (at one point we compiled a list of more than 50 different scaling decisions)

“During World War II, sixteen U.S. shipyards built over 2,600 Liberty Ships. When first built in 1941, it took about six months to complete each one. By late 1943, it took about thirty days; but whenever a new shipyard started building, it still took a year or so before the new shipyard became that efficient.”
shipyards3 shipyards2 shipyards

“The burdens of expansion can be enduring, and disastrous, especially when bad assumptions are made about new locations, employees, or customers.”

“The key to using the guardrail strategy is specifying as few constraints as you possibly can–picking those previous few that matter most and pack the biggest wallop, and then leaving people to steer between and around them as they see fit. Keeping the list of constraints short also reduces the burden on leaders and teams that are charged with scaling, and on frontline employees who are asked to live the new behaviors and beliefs.”

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