What are the Characteristics of a High Growth Organisation?

Sue Stockdale is a business coach for Notion Ltd. She has started, grown and sold a business and therefore understands the challenges that businesses can experience. Read her perspective on how to shape up your organisation to leverage return on investment.

Many observers believe that as high growth companies show higher levels of productivity than average companies, their businesses are more likely to create jobs, and generate wealth. This will in turn help to reinvigorate the economy.

The concept of “high growth“ is fairly straightforward. According to the OECD, a high growth firm is one which grows at a rate which is considered high in comparison to the majority of other businesses. As such, it can achieve annual growth rates in turnover, or number of employees of over 20% for three consecutive years.

So what are the characteristics of a high growth company?

  • Strategy - Long term goals and strategy have been established, which have been shared with employees. This ensures that everyone is working towards a unified direction.
  • Organisation structure - Roles and reporting relationships are defined, along with accountability. Structured communication systems are in place throughout the business.
  • Culture - There is clarity about “how we do business around here” along with shared values and attitudes of staff that are to be encouraged.
  • Systems and procedures - Documented systems are established that clarifies work processes. This gives a business the ability to scale their operations whilst providing a level of consistency.
  • Leadership - The managing director is more focused on strategy than day to day management.
  • Employment and HR practices - There should be good practices in HR that support business performance. Many companies don’t take this area seriously and don’t have agreements in place to provide clarity for both the company and their employees. They only realise that this area is important when something goes wrong.
  • Product or service development - There is continuous improvement of the product or service using feedback taken from customers. In growth companies they use this feedback loop to seek opportunities to add on new features or move into other markets by paying close attention to what their customers are saying.
  • International competition - A growth company recognises that their marketplace is now global, and ensures that they maintain knowledge of trends affecting their business from an international perspective.

Use these characteristics to assess where your business is at, and take steps to address the areas that are not yet in place or operating effectively by working with an executive coach.

Kind regards

Laura Ashley-Timms - Director of Coaching