Why top teams fail to scale

Are you having difficulties scaling?

Well, it might be due to a lack of investment in your top team’s development to meet the demands of your growing business.

According to the UK Scale Up Institute 36% of scale up CEOs say that a key barrier to grow is leadership development.

When it comes to scaling up, here are five reasons why top teams can fail to scale:


1.   Losing focus

 A top team without an inspiring vision leaves them rudderless, as they can’t navigate or bring everyone along with them on the journey. As the saying goes, ‘if you don’t know where you’re heading, anywhere will do’. Without a clear vision, a top team will lack passion, direction and drive for the journey ahead. If top teams aren’t focussed on the direction of travel and lost in unnecessary minutiae and distractions, their energies will be displaced. All eyes need to be looking ahead with a firm handle on day-to-day operations.


2.   Incomplete strategy  

Most top teams will have financial targets yet can often lack a holistic strategy to enable their financial ambitions to be met. Having financial targets are the ‘what’ but not the ‘how’. A strategy articulates how the top team will enable their financials to be met. Whether a top team has a financial target of £5m or £50m in revenue; they must have a strategy with clear goals. A strategy can include enablers such as investing in customer service improvement, streamlining processes, sales development, system improvements, talent resourcing and development, new product innovation or acquisitions to meet their objectives.


3.   Lack of accountability

When there’s a lack of accountability across a top team, silos emerge, infighting develops, results deteriorate, and team members resent extending their efforts. If there’s no shared accountability, the team become dysfunctional very quickly with no one taking ownership for their actions or results. High-performance teams share accountability and responsibility for their results during the highs and the lows of their scale up journey.


4.   Wrong team formation

Every top team is unique. Matching the right leaders with the right roles is essential for high performance and successful team play. The best teams harness their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses to maximise their performance. Yet, when they fail to analyse their strengths and weaknesses, they simply cannot play their best game. If a top team aligns their players in the right formation on the pitch, they will score more goals, win more games and go up a league.


5.   Poor rainmakers

Top teams play a vital role in business development. If a top team can’t broker deals, attract clients or funds to their business, they will reach the end of their runway. Top teams must be able to articulate their value proposition, influence strategic partners and stakeholders, nurture client relationships and play their part in winning new business. Without revenue to fuel their take off, the business isn’t going anywhere.


A top team is the engine that drives growth, so if they’re not equipped with the necessary skills, tools, and techniques to take the business forward, it’s a recipe for disaster.

A failure to identify leadership, management and team development needs means that a top team will only be firing on two cylinders rather than six.

Investing in your top team’s skills drives up productivity, continuity and consistency in leadership and management practices and accelerates performance and results.

Hewlett Rand provides top teams with the skills to scale top team capabilities, so your business scales sustainably.

For a no obligation meeting to discuss your top team’s development needs, reach out to today: enquiry@hewlettrand.com

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