Why Great Organizations Multiply

Stop Adding and Invest in Your People

Multiply, don't Add

One theme I continue to see a lot in the organizations I work with and speak to, is that many of them believe that in order to grow they must add more people when they should want to multiply.

They bring on a large new client and the first thing they do is hire more people. Their results begin to decline so they hire more people. The culture becomes negative so they… Well you get it by now.

I am all for new jobs, but effective leaders and great organizations multiply! They don’t just add. They understand that in order to multiply, you must invest in the growth and development of the people you already have.

If your organization has a Development Culture where all people are given the opportunity to grow, multiplication happens. But if you have a toxic culture, your people are less productive. If you add people into that kind of culture, they will under-perform, just like the rest of your people probably already are. One new person cannot change a toxic culture. But a toxic culture can swallow up a new person, no matter how great they seem. People become like their leader. People become like their culture.

What if, instead of adding more people, organizations invested in, motivated, and supported the people they have already? What would that do to productivity?

Organizations are perfectly designed for the results they are getting. If you don’t like the results, you have to change what you are doing. Adding does not change anything. It is simply adds more of the same.

If you do what you have always done, you will be who you have always been. If you continually add people, thinking you will get better results, you will actually continue to get the results you have always gotten. Your organization will not change. It will stay the same and an organization that stays the same is moving backwards.

I encourage all leaders of organizations to resist the urge to simply add more people. Make sure your current people are the right ones first. Then invest in their growth.

All of the solutions you need to grow will come from your current people. But you have to ask them. The only way they will respond is if they feel invested in the company. Make them feel invested. How? By actually investing in their growth?

Investing in your current people is always cheaper than hiring more people. We see this very clearly in sports. The most successful sports teams develop talent from within. They fill in gaps with outside additions when needed. Teams that spend big every year in free agency usually aren’t successful.

Spending does not equal success. Adding does not equal growth. But investing in people always brings back a positive return. 



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