You may see this come up in one of my talks at the Y here in San Diego. That is, groups and organizations become less stable as they grow larger. In the larger, more complex organizations, the leaders (those with the experience and the knowledge) become more involved in the running of the organization and often in the decisions.
This phenomenon is called “cronbach” and it’s been around for a while. Essentially, it’s the result of the cumulative effect of the leader’s contributions to a company. In the example I gave you earlier, you’ve got a CEO who’s been there for 30 years, has a couple of dozen people working for him, and has a group of people working with him.
With larger groups, the leaders get more involved and the decision-making becomes more complex. A lot more people are involved in making decisions, decisions that can make or break the organization.
This is where a lot of companies begin to get bogged down. And by bogged down I mean that they don’t have a strategy, or a team, or a way to make decisions, or a way to do anything. This is why a strategy is important. A strategy is a plan of action that a company can follow and that can make the difference between success and failure. A strategy is not a series of steps that the CEO takes to get the business up and running.
It can be especially difficult to make decisions when the group is growing beyond its original size. In other words, when the group is getting bigger, the number of members increases, and these members are more likely to be “different”. A group becomes less stable when it has a small number of members, and more likely to have a variety of opinions that can make or break the team.
That’s why it’s so important to choose the right people. I’ve seen many groups get started with a small number of people, and then as the numbers got larger, a bunch can start to drift apart, causing the group to implode.
In a way, this whole article has been about making sure that you’re choosing people that are the right size for the group you’re starting up with. In the end, we recommend that you pick a group with about 10-15 members and stick with them. This helps the group stay together, and it also helps spread out the members’ opinions and ideas, making the group more interesting.