Much time and effort is spent, and rightly so, on the launch phase of a new company and decisions made and actions taken during that phase will impact the future of the business and how the focus of the members of the senior management team will change as the company evolves. The launch phase is dominated by brainstorming about new business ideas, clearing the decks for concentrating on product development and marketing, forming a new entity and finding the funds required to make the dreams of the founders come true. If all goes well the company will transition into a growth phase marked by climbing revenues, an expanding line of products and services and, perhaps most important from a management perspective, an explosion in the size of the organizational structure and the challenges of coordination and communication. Growth is not necessarily constant and the expansion path of the business may include peaks and valleys, with each downturn bringing its own set of issues in terms of diagnosing problems and then identifying and taking corrective action. At some point the rapid growth generally slows and the company reaches a plateau or even begins to experience signs of decline as customer requirements change and new technologies and competitors emerge. In some cases the symptoms for decline cannot be reversed; however, it most cases the company can stave off extinction by consciously focusing on renewing its business model and, in effect, launching a new business that can succeed in the changed business environment in which the company is operating. However, renewal is not easy since it requires not only new ideas, technologies and capital but also changes in culture and in the ways in which things are done within the company.
MANAGING GROWTH AND CHANGE: A LIBRARY OF RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE ENTREPRENEURS The Sustainable Entrepreneur’s Library of Resources for Managing Growth and Change consists of five Parts. Part I describes various issues that companies must address as they seek to identify and manage the inevitable challenges that will arise as they grow and mature and the environment in which they operate changes. Part II describes the purposes and structures of strategic alliances as important tools for expanding business activities and gaining access to complementary resources owned or controlled by third parties. Part III describes growth and change of a company and its organizational structure and mission through negotiated acquisitions of new businesses and assets from outside parties. Part IV provides an introduction to the applicable federal, state and finance industry regulatory frameworks, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of a company’s initial public offering of securities, commonly referred to as an “IPO”, and describes the disclosure requirements that must be satisfied while preparing and filing documents with the SEC that will eventually be distributed within the investment community. Part V focuses on management practices of companies that encounter strategic, financial, managerial, economic and/or operational issues that stall their growth and suddenly place them in a crisis situation where survival becomes the immediate goal and objective. The Part includes a discussion of potential causes for operational and financial problems and guidance on diagnosing problems and implementing recovery strategies. The Part also covers crisis management include risk factors for potential crisis situations and design and implementation of crisis management plans and programs.
A complete Table of Contents for the Library is available here and information regarding ordering materials from the Library can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEBINARS AND PODCASTS
West Legal Ed Center: Click here for list of all programs presented by the Business Counselor Institute, an affiliate of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Project, on West Legal Ed Center. Programs relating to managing growth and change include several videos prepared for the Beyond the Bar training initiative and the following webinars (available on demand):
Business Counselor Institute on West Legal Ed Center
- Joint Ventures (05.2015)
Beyond the Bar Training Programs
- Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures
- Going and Being Public
- Buying and Selling Businesses
- Negotiating a Letter of Intent for an Acquisition
- Conducting a Due Diligence Investigation
- Closing Procedures
- Workouts and Business Bankruptcies
- Counseling Companies in Crisis
Checklists and Questionnaires
Chapters or Articles in Books
Articles in Journals
Articles in Newspapers and Magazines
Theses and Dissertations
Government and Other Public Domain Publications