Tag Archives: strategic planning

Growth Curve

Overcoming Obstacles To Get To Your Next Level

Do you know what stage of growth your company is currently in and what is takes to get it to the next level? I would like to introduce you to the idea of being a growth curve enterprise, which is a profit driven, people-centered, growth-smart company. Knowing where your organization is in the growth curve is essential to discern how to adapt your style and methods to match the needs of your fast growing entity.

Adding to the True Life arsenal of leadership tools, I was certified last year as a Stages of Growth Strategist by Target Training International based on James Fischer’s research and process. With nearly a thousand high growth companies studied, he devised a complex methodology to navigate intentional growth. To simplify the process, TTI created a battery of online assessments that CEOs could engage their direct reports in and together journey through a process to identify, assess and define the intentional steps to their next level.

Check out this webinar from TTI to get a more in depth overview.


Interested in finding out where you are at in the growth curve? Subscribe to our blog via email to receive your free copy of the Growth Curve Matrix.

My own experience of conducting numerous strategic Stages of Growth sessions has further validated the tool and here is just a taste a few of the take-aways to get you thinking about your own growth:

1. Your Stage of Growth Can and Should Be Defined.

There are 7 Stages of Growth based on the number of employees. Once you hit the defined number of employees, the next stage begins, thus you must begin preparing your team to navigate to the next stage. For example, once you hit 19 employees, your company makes a huge shift from CEO-centric to Enterprise-centric as it enters Stage 3 – Delegation.

2. Know the Top 5 Challenges of Each Stage

Fischer identified there are 27 Challenges of an intentional enterprise. The order and blend of challenges differ for each stage of growth. If you have grown exponentially and fast, you will need to go back 2 stages to see if you have missed any of the critical growth steps and then have headlights to look forward to what you need to start tackling now as a team. Think about the top 5 business challenges you are experiencing today. Get the matrix and see if your 5 compare to other companies in your current stage of growth. Fascinating.

3. The 10 Hidden Agents Impact Leadership Effectiveness

Fischer’s research discovered there are 10 hidden agents that influence a company’s ability to reach their next level. Interestingly, 5 of those 10, have to do with how a leader must adapt themselves first including their mindset, style, mode of thinking and communication aptitude at each level.

Here are a few to get your mind peculating:

Leadership Style is the how the leader links to the “feel of the company.” Your leadership style must adjust at each stage. For now, ask yourself intuitively does my natural style resonate with the style required for this stage of our company’s growth?

Leadership Modality measures the degree of “direct or indirect influence” a leader must apply to see the company goal’s manifest.

Leadership Faces measures the blend (by percentage) of 3 primary leadership roles: visionary, manager, and specialist at each level. For example, with over 40 employees, a CEO should be spending 70% of their time managing the business. Isn’t that depressing for you High D entrepreneurs? But it explains a lot!

Leadership Competencies includes emotional intelligence knowledge as well as other people skills. The assessment measures 18 competencies and identities the unique mixture depending on the stage of growth. Are you growing in your self-awareness and able to scan the landscape to know what skills you need to put away for now and which ones you need to develop?

I love seeing entrepreneurs build intentional companies that want to fulfill a great purpose and willing to invest in their people to get there. Grateful for those of who are out there living it and making a difference in the world.

Your Coach,


New News: Certification As Growth Curve Strategist

Last month, I was certified in a strategic growth curve process. It is the first tool I have experienced that puts headlights on the future for the CEO to see what’s required for the next stage of growth simply based on the number of employees (brilliant). I do quite a few strategic planning sessions, quarterly offsites, culture alignment workshops, etc., but this give leadership teams the edge in planning.

First, I took my own company through it and found our top 5 (out of 27) challenges and the exact steps I need to take to get the business to its next stage of growth. It also showed me how many managers vs executives I will need in the near future as well as how my leadership style will have to change and when. We a took a battery of online assessments and the data that came out was, well, “telling.”

If you are interested I would love to tell you more about it. But thought I’d share the fun press release that came out last week!


 EEOC and OFCCP-compliant assessment company distinguishes Shandel Slaten with Growth Curve certification

SEATTLE, WA – March, 2013 – TTI Performance Systems, the world’s leading source for research-based, validated assessments has designated Shandel Slaten of True Life, Inc a Certified Professional Growth Curve Strategist on February 22, 2013.

With this certification, Slaten is qualified to perform an X-Ray to determine a company’s current stage of growth; critically assess a company’s past, present and future to get CEOs focused on the right things at the right time; and identify the hidden agents – defined as 27 Challenges – that are impacting the company’s ability to grow, and develop a plan to solve those issues.

Slaten is an executive coach with a proven track record of helping business professionals realize their personal and professional goals. Since 2000, she has worked with everyone from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms. Her specialty is the alignment of people and process to the strategic vision by way of streamlining best practices of big business to fast growth teams.  www.truelifeinc.com

 TTI Performance Systems, Ltd. is the world’s leading source for research-based, validated assessment and coaching tools that enable organizations to effectively meet their human capital management needs. With a client base made up of Fortune 500 companies, its assessments and reports are at work in more than 90 countries and in 40 languages.