Last week, we introduced the concept of Seven Stages of Growth, which is based on the book “Navigating the Growth Curve” by James Fischer.  This week, we’ll be discussing the “27 Challenges”, which is the first layer of the model for creating strategic alignment.  Enjoy this article contributed by Strategic Partner, Diane Janovsky.

When an organization is growing, business owners are faced with innumerable challenges, and it is often difficult to effectively identify and address obstacles while running day to day operations. This can lead to unsustainable profitability as they chase after issues as they appear.

What if a business owner or CEO could:

  • Create awareness in the company of the top five issues to focus on?
  • Create a language of growth that engages every single employee in the organization?
  • Understand why certain things are happening right now?
  • Have headlights into the future and help improve performance?

In the research he conducted with 650 CEO’s over 6 years, James Fischer identified “27 Challenges” that are common to all businesses at each of the seven stages.  Some examples include Expand Sales, Unclear Core Values and Staff Buy-in.  Rather than reinventing the wheel, a business owner can use this model to immediately and easily name the issues associated with their company’s Stage of Growth.  Fischer further categorized the top five challenges that are most critical in each of the Seven Stages of Growth, which enables leadership to understand and prioritize where corrective action and attention is needed most.

The value of the 27 Challenges is it:

  • Forces the business leader to put words to the top five critical issues.
  • Provides opportunity for the leader to see how the rest of the team defines top challenges.
  • Forces discussion to align company goals and objectives.
  • Builds CEO confidence as they proactively tackle critical issues.
  • Compels deeper discussion on how to address the top five challenges.
  • Drives the business owner to work with the leadership team to address more strategic issues once everyone agrees to problems.

Understanding the “27 Challenges” and identifying the top five issues for an organization’s Stage of Growth helps a business owner or CEO focus on the right things at the right time to support growth and sustainable profits.

Be sure to join us next week as we explore the second layer of alignment:  The Builder/Protector Ratio.

Want to know more?  Feel free to contact us at for a free consultation to learn more about how our Strategic Alignment Process, Stages of Growth, can help you manage your current and future growth.

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