Leadership & Management

9 minute read

Change Management: 5 Needs of a Growing Business

Claudia Buckley

Claudia Buckley

Businesses are alive: they evolve and adapt to their surroundings in order to survive and flourish. This evolution isn’t just about growing in size or increasing revenues but about making important changes to keep up with the changing market, with what customers want, and with new technology. Understanding the nature and gravity of these transformations is vital for any organization’s growth path.

At the heart of transformation and growth is learning: whether that learning takes place by means of formal skills training or through the experiences we gain along our journey.

Growth is a sign of success for a business, but it also brings challenges and demands that test its ability to bounce back and adapt. As the business expands, it becomes more complicated, making change management even more challenging. The ability to anticipate these needs and respond quickly and wisely is what separates thriving businesses from struggling ones.

What happens when organizations grow?

When organizations grow or need to grow, leadership is placed under the spotlight, tasked with steering the organization through uncharted territory while fostering a culture of resilience. Operational mechanisms that were once adequate might no longer suffice, calling for processes to be revisited and re-engineered for scalability. 

A business model that worked effectively in the past may no longer be relevant or competitive, triggering the need for reinvention.

Talent, the lifeblood of the organization, becomes more diverse and specialized, creating new dimensions in management. Technology, ever-advancing, offers both a challenge and a tool, driving changes in business operations while also equipping organizations with the means to manage these changes.

These evolving needs are not standalone elements but intertwined facets of a business's growth journey. They influence and interact with each other, collectively shaping the trajectory of the organization. Grasping their significance and understanding their interplay is key to managing change and driving sustainable growth.

Organizational growth chartWith this context, let's dive into a more detailed exploration of each of these needs, their significance, and the ways in which businesses can effectively address them to navigate their growth journey successfully.

1. Adaptive leadership

Growing businesses face a dynamic, fast-paced, and continuously changing environment. This necessitates the evolution of leadership styles that are adaptive, agile, and innovative. The role of a leader is to inspire, motivate, and guide the workforce towards achieving the organization's evolving objectives. But guess what? Good leaders also know how to listen: At GoSkills, we've included a course on listening skills as one of the core competencies we recommend to leaders. 

Adaptive leadership focuses on navigating through changes, fostering a culture of flexibility and resilience. A leader's ability to remain fluid, understand the varying perspectives of team members, and facilitate constructive discussions is pivotal in shaping a successful organization.

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, adaptive leadership fosters a conducive environment for change management, thereby reducing resistance to change and fostering business growth.


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2. Process scalability

Scalability is an integral part of business growth. It entails the capability of a business to manage increased demands without compromising performance or losing revenue. Effective scalability requires a robust foundation of processes and systems that can evolve with business growth.

Processes, from hiring to customer service to supply chain management, need to be designed for scalability. This requires a thoughtful analysis of current processes, identification of potential bottlenecks, and strategizing scalable solutions. There is no doubt that Six Sigma learning contributes a great deal to overall quality improvement and provides a good basis to scale up. That is why we at GoSkills made available an entire range of courses in this field. 

A study by MIT Sloan emphasizes the importance of process scalability in successful business expansion and suggests that it significantly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of operations.


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3. Evolving business models

As businesses grow, their models often need to evolve to stay relevant, competitive, and effective. This can involve redefining value propositions, exploring new revenue streams, or reconfiguring value chains. The changes can also be in response to external factors like shifts in market trends, technology advancements, or regulatory changes.

For instance, traditional brick-and-mortar businesses may need to embrace digital platforms to reach a wider audience and improve customer experience.

Businesses may need to change their way of doing things to reach a wider audience or to keep up with expectations and requirements.

Research by the Journal of Business Research suggests that the evolution of business models is crucial for maintaining competitive advantage and achieving sustainable growth.  A growing business may also need to review the jurisdictions where it has tax residency and registered offices. For example, in the United States, companies often relocate to more advantageous states such as Nevada, Delaware, or Wyoming because of the LLC benefits they offer.

4. Talent management

Talent management plays a crucial role in a growing business. As a company expands, its human resource needs become more complex and diverse. It's necessary to have the right people with the right skills in the right positions at the right times.

Recruiting, retaining, and developing talent becomes increasingly essential as businesses grow. This requires creating an attractive organizational culture, providing opportunities for professional growth, and fostering a conducive working environment.

A comprehensive study by the Human Resource Management Review highlights the significance of strategic talent management in supporting business growth and managing change.

5. Technology integration

In today's digital era, the role of technology in business operations cannot be overstated. Technology enhances efficiency, automates routine tasks, facilitates better decision-making with data analytics, and opens new avenues for customer engagement. 

Technology integration becomes more critical as businesses grow, necessitating investment in advanced tools and systems. This can range from adopting customer relationship management (CRM) systems to using artificial intelligence for business analytics. Here at GoSkills, we recognize that a number of industry leaders have seen mainstream adoption of their technology solutions; hence our team crafted a Google Drive & Apps course, as well as an entire range of Microsoft Office courses such as Excel 365 training and even the latest course on Windows 11

A study published in the International Journal of Information Management underlines the importance of technology integration in business growth, emphasizing its role in fostering innovation and competitiveness.

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Effective change management 

As businesses grow, understanding and responding to the five evolving needs mentioned above becomes a necessary endeavor. However, the natural human tendency to prefer the comfort of the familiar tends to make people resistant to change. 

To overcome this resistance, organizations need to embrace an inclusive approach by prioritizing communication, transparency, and employee engagement. One creative and effective strategy is to make learning more enjoyable. By associating change with positive experiences, businesses can help ease the fear and apprehension often associated with change. This could be accomplished by introducing gamified learning platforms, organizing interactive workshops, or incorporating experiential learning methods that make the learning process more engaging and less intimidating.

Since the fear of change often stems from a lack of understanding about why the change is necessary in the first place and what it will entail, it'll also be crucial to establish a clear vision of what the change will bring and to communicate this vision effectively across all levels of the organization. If people know why change is happening and how they're likely to benefit, people might be more inclined to support and even promote new ways of doing things.

Here's another tip: involving employees in the decision-making process can significantly influence their willingness to grow and change with the organization. When employees feel they have a voice in the process and that their opinions and concerns are genuinely considered, they are more likely to support the change. This sense of ownership encourages a proactive stance towards change rather than a reactive one.

Managing change is an active process. When these strategies are implemented, organizations will not only navigate their growth journey successfully but also poise themselves for long-term success. If you liked what you just read, see our guide on how to develop better leadership and management skills. 

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Claudia Buckley

Claudia Buckley

Claudia is a project manager and business skills instructor at GoSkills. In her spare time, she reads mystery novels and does genealogy research.