The following post is part IV of a IV-part series by Masterworks President Steve Woodworth on biblical planning.Click here to learn more about Steve.
In contemplating a company with 700 people, I found myself shuddering at the possibility. I did not find it exciting. I read the book “Small Giants” by Bo Burlingham over the holidays. It celebrates exceptional small businesses. The businesses he admires have certain characteristics in common. The most important one was that they had all made decisions to limit their growth due to a higher value, usually quality. This made me think about what’s important to me, and being as big as we can possibly be is not even on the list.
I want to work with people I like — the kind of people we have now. I don’t want to work with “hot shots” who can grow the business but have high ego needs.
I want a cohesive team that works well together, such that the inevitable conflicts are healthy and respectful.
I loathe bureaucracy and politics. Anytime they seem to be rearing their ugly heads, it’s time to question whether we are growing too fast and allowing the culture to slide.
I want to personally know every one of our Account Executives. In an agency, the AE’s are the linchpins of the business. They need to be comfortable coming to any of us with problems. They need to know us well enough to see our values in action, so that they convey the same values to clients.
How big is this?
I don’t think it’s a simple number. I think it’s something we can only know when we get there. If the team starts fighting, if we see evidence of politics, then it’s time to slow down and work on those issues. If it’s smooth sailing, and opportunities continue to come our way, then full speed ahead.
Maybe even to a team of 700 people.