Insight September 4, 2020 Lisa Sacchetti

Are the People who Launched Your Company to Success the Right Leaders for the Next Stage in Its Growth?

To grow and sustain growth, a company needs skilled leaders who understand the organization’s current strengths, challenges, and opportunities. Those leaders must also possess the vision, experience, and capacity to lead the organization toward success – from where it is today.

The most effective organizations are those whose leaders understand that roles should change as the company matures. For example, a start-up firm may need a CEO, a VP of marketing, and a head of sales. In some cases, the same person may wear multiple hats as the company seeks to limit its expenses. However, a company that has grown exponentially already may find itself in need of changed or additional leadership roles like a President, a Chief Marketing Officer, a Chief Operating Officer, and multi-skilled sales account managers.

When is Change Warranted or Appropriate?

Is your company struggling to manage substantial incoming demand, or are you at a point where you need to create additional demand but aren’t sure how to go about it? If so, you may need to make leadership changes.

In many cases, companies move through various growth phases without recognizing the need to add critical capabilities or capacity, or are simply unaware of the need for structural change because the company has evolved through rapid organic growth. In other cases, companies know they do not have exactly the roles or people they need, but at the same time, they cannot identify what they do need or who to hire. Of course, it is difficult to attract key talent into your company without clearly defining desired new roles and responsibilities.

The simple truth is that $5 million companies and $50 million companies have different needs, especially when outside investors are involved. Different-sized organizations require different skill sets, sales and marketing resources, and leadership.

Some organizations employ a time-tested and successful strategy, bringing in new talent and creating new opportunities whenever they hit specific growth targets – regardless of how well the incumbent is doing. In fact, it is arguably because the incumbent did their job so well that new talent is needed to take the company to the next level.

However, there does not have to be a magic revenue number, which, when hit, will trigger leadership changes. Rather, companies can also evaluate for themselves whether there are signs that change may be necessary. Those signs may include:

  • Stalled growth
  • Leadership team is no longer achieving its goals
  • Repeated revenue roadblocks with no effective solutions

If these signs sound familiar, your company may be stuck looking at revenue growth through an outdated – and ineffective – lens.

How Can EdTech Firms Benefit from This Strategy?

Let’s look at a hypothetical example of this talent acquisition strategy in practice for a maturing EdTech firm that has been successful in its attempts to sell in a school by school strategy. Using their record of success, the organization is now ready to sell to districts. However, the skills needed for effective B2E (Business to Education) marketing and sales are markedly different than the skills that got the company to this point. If the EdTech firm wants to achieve its goals and garner market share with school districts, they will need a Direct Sales Leader who can take them to the next level. Similarly, a CEO who operationalized a start-up will need a COO to manage operations going forward in order to handle demand in a growing sales pipeline.

The Renaissance Network (TRN) recently recruited new executive talent for a company that grew from $2 million to $10 million with the same CEO at the helm. The problem was that the company had simply reached a point where growth started to flatten and it became apparent that they needed to add people to the leadership team. In another case, we worked with an international EdTech firm to bring in a President to elevate the company’s commercial capabilities as they looked to prioritize a new lead market and hit ambitious goals.

In both of these scenarios, TRN was able to help clients recognize the need for change, create meaningful roles and opportunities, and source skilled talent with the necessary knowledge, experience, and drive.

What’s the Risk of Failing to Recognize the Need for Change?

Holding onto the talent that helped your company get to its current point can become problematic later. That’s because the people you have in place today simply may not have the skills and experience to take your organization to the next level.

Failing to identify leadership, talent, and organizational needs at these critical junctures may result in cost overruns, stalled sales growth, poor customer service experiences, and even an unhealthy internal culture.

If your organization’s growth is stalling or your leadership team simply is not achieving its aggressive goals, it may be time to bring in new leadership.

How Can TRN Help?

TRN uses a discovery process with each client engagement, designed to unearth the most effective organizational structure, role parameters, and job descriptions. From a talent acquisition standpoint, if you needed someone who could operate well at the $20 million level, we would not bring you candidates with experience at the $2 million level and others at the $2 billion level with no experience in between. In other words, the candidates you consider should have the skills to do what you need them to do, at the point your company is at today. TRN is adept at sourcing the right people for where your company is presently while keeping in mind where you want to go.

With 25 years of experience helping Education and Technology companies grow by unearthing talent and building world-class teams, TRN is positioned to help your organization continue growing.

Contact us today to learn more!

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Lisa founded The Renaissance Network in 1996 with the mission of building world-class teams and quickly developed a focus on the growing Education and Technology vertical.

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