• Your Company and Your Goal

    Every Owner-Manager has a goal in mind for their business. For some, it is to see it grow, while others like to keep things the way they are to maintain a lifestyle. In some instances, it’s the responsibility of transitioning the family business to the next generation, and in others, it is to revitalize the business following unexpected setbacks. Whatever your goal may be, the common vision for all Owner-Managers is to see their business continue successfully over the long term.

    Whether their intent is to keep the business within the family, or to harvest their hard work in a successful sale later on, Owner-Managers want this to be their choice to make.

    The requirement that make this possible is to build an Effective Organization that is sustainably successful – and GroundSwell Diagnostics is that important first step towards doing so.

    GroundSwell Diagnostics (GSD) measures your organization’s effectiveness and prepares you for the challenges ahead. It will provide you with a baseline on how effective your company and management team are today, quantify your people’s buy-in and commitment, and reveal insights to you about your business that you could not attain any other way. The results will offer you an intelligent starting point from which to help guide planning and track progress over time as you work towards achieving your goal.

    Incidentaly, the very same tools and approach behind GroundSwell Diagnostics have been time-tested for over 30 years and proven effective in hundreds of companies.
  • The Research Behind GroundSwell Diagnostics

    GroundSwell Diagnostics’ methodology is derived from the action-based research of Dr. Eric Flamholtz (Founder and President of Management Systems and Professor Emeritus, UCLA Anderson School of Management) and Dr. Yvonne Randle (EVP of Management Systems and Lecturer, UCLA Anderson School of Management).

    Together, they have worked with companies of all sizes in varying industries for over 30 years. Their work has shown that predictable challenges they call “Growing Pains” inevitably emerge as a business develops. Growing Pains are problems that occur as a result of inadequate organizational development in relation to business size and complexity.

    Their work is widely recognized as the definitive or “classic” approach to building sustainably successful companies, and is supported by their highly regarded book, Growing Pains. Growing Pains are problems that usually arise from success, not failure. However, they can also occur during a period of business plateau or even decline as a result of residual underdevelopment from a prior period of growth. They are early warnings that organizational development has not kept pace with business development (measured in revenues). These symptoms have proven to be a set of leading indicators of future financial performance, and are predictive of future difficulties if not addressed.

    Growing Pains manifest themselves in different ways. For instance, some business owners have difficulty getting away from “doing” the day-to-day tasks of the business, instead of “managing” effectively through their teams. In others, managers feel overwhelmed to effectively operate a more advanced-stage organization with greater complexity and disparate geographies. In still other instances, employees may feel a constant sense of “putting out fires,” or a sense inside the company that there is no time “to plan for the future.” These issues will not go away, and some of them may go even deeper, and involve specific self-imposed challenges to strong leadership.

    In the short term, ignoring Growing Pains could mean lost revenues, frustrated employees, or worse. In the longer term, Growing Pains will impair an Organization’s Effectiveness, and place the future sustainability and financial performance of the company at risk.

    GroundSwell Diagnostics offers an integrated set of survey tools that help identify and measure the severity of Growing Pains (Growing Pains), as well as the degree of Organizational (Organizational Effectiveness Survey), and Management Effectiveness (Management Effectiveness Surveys) in place at your company. Their outputs will help focus your attention on the things that matter the most so that you can achieve your goal

  • Key Research Questions

    In addition to Growing Pains, Flamholtz and Randle's work went even further to provide answers to 3 fundamental questions on building a sustainably successful organization:

    • 1.What is required to build a successful company?
    • 2.Why are some companies successful and others not?
    • 3.What can be done to increase the probability of building a successful organization?

    Dr. Flamholtz on: The Initial Idea and Key Questions
    Their answers to these 3 questions led to the
    creation of a strategic roadmap for building
    sustainably successful companies:
    The Pyramid of Organizational Development.
  • The Pyramid of Organizational Development

    The work of Flamholtz and Randle led to the creation of The Pyramid of Organizational Development.

    The Pyramid offers a strategic “lens” to help Owner-Managers:

    • Develop their companies successfully and sustainably.
    • Avoid the pitfalls that lead to underperformance or even failure.
    • Successfully develop higher levels of competitive advantage in order to become increasingly durable.

    Dr. Flamholtz on: Pyramid of Organizational Development - Leading Indicator of Financial Performance

    The Pyramid identifies six key “building blocks” required to become organizationally effective. They are what every company must develop in order to be successful over the long term (from bottom to top):

    • 1.Identification, definition, and understanding of a viable MARKET (customers) to serve.
    • 2.Development of appropriate PRODUCTS AND/OR SERVICES to meet the market (customers) needs.
    • 3.Acquisition and management of RESOURCES required to support current and future operations.
    • 4.Development of the OPERATIONAL SYSTEMS necessary for the organization to function on a day-to-day basis.
    • 5.Development of the MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS required for the overall functioning of the organization on a long-term basis.
    • 6.Development and effective management of a strong and positive CORPORATE CULTURE.
    Long term success requires the attention of the Owner-Manager to properly construct each level of the Pyramid, from Markets to Corporate Culture, as an integrated whole.
  • Growing Pains, Effectiveness, and Their Impact on a Company

    In their work with hundreds of companies, Flamholtz and Randle have proven that Growing Pains and a lack of Organizational Effectiveness are a direct result of inadequate organizational development at one or more levels of the Pyramid in relation to business size and complexity.

    More importantly, they have also proven that the diagnostic survey tools which have resulted from their work are predictive of a company’s future financial performance.
    Their work supports the well-known notion that on average, 50% of Companies Fail Every 5 Years and have shown that Building a Successful Business Requires More Than Just Capital.

    Simply stated, failure to recognize the importance of organizational effectiveness, diagnose early warnings, or ignore them altogether, will result in vulnerability and financial underperformance. The Pyramid of Organization Development is your guide to building a suistainably successful business.

  • Diagnosing Your Company’s Growing Pains and Effectiveness

    So, how does a company diagnose its Growing Pains? How can you understand the specific areas of your company that require attention, and whether things are “normal” for an organization of your type and size?

    Flamholtz and Randle"s diagnostic survey tools thoroughly assess both organizational and management effectiveness. These surveys form the basis of GroundSwell Diagnostics.

    The surveys measure the critical aspects of your company through the eyes of the people that are doing the work – your employees. Yes, they’re surveys, but they’re much more – they help you see what is otherwise unobservable.

    The surveys will tell you:

    • How are we really doing as a company, and as compared to other companies of similar type and size?
    • Are my people engaged and ready to help me move my business forward?
    • How can I get my people working out of commitment, and not just compliance?
    • What actions can I take as a leader to help my company be prepared for what’s ahead as we develop?

    Finally, the survey results offer your company a planning tool that has been validated through 30 years of research, hundreds of companies, and countless success stories. In addition, you will be able to know how you are doing in comparison to other companies in our one-of-a-kind benchmarking database dedicated to measuring Organizational Effectiveness.

    Our surveys are an innovative way to assess
    your company’s Effectiveness.
  • Overcoming Growing Pains and Becoming More Effective

    Our survey tools provide methods to measure, understand, take action, and monitor your progress as you work through your Growing Pains and improve your company’s effectiveness over time. The results have been validated through a growing database of hundreds of companies in more than 20 industries.

    GroundSwell Diagnostics’ surveys will help you:

    • Identify the source or sources of your organization’s Growing Pains and the challenges you might face as your business develops.
    • Specify the areas of your company that are underdeveloped and require your attention in order to create strong building blocks to become more effective.
    • Outline the action steps required for taking your company to the “next level” so that it can become sustainably successful.

    GroundSwell Diagnostics will give you the objective facts and a guide to help you begin taking the actions that matter most in order to achieve your goal.

    Click here to learn more about how our diagnostic surveys can help you.