5 business growing pains & how to manage them

With Blackdot undergoing significant growth over the past year, it was inevitable that the business would face some growing pains as it adapted to a bigger team and new ways of working. Here are 5 challenges the team faced during the transition, which are likely to be experienced by other organisations going through similar growth.

1. Who’s who in the zoo?

With multiple people often starting in the same week, or even the same day, the Blackdot team has had a lot of new faces to familiarise themselves with. In a consulting environment where staff are frequently offsite at meetings or working with clients, it can be even trickier to get to know people. Blackdot has implemented a structured induction program for new starters to help alleviate this issue, as well as assigning buddies and mentors to help employees get to know the team and the business. Regular monthly all-of-team meetings (followed by drinks) and taking time to celebrate birthdays, Christmas and other milestones all help in building camaraderie and a team culture.

2. When meeting rooms become a commodity

While a smaller team can take a more ad hoc approach to occupying meeting rooms, more people in the office meant competition for meeting rooms became fierce. It was not uncommon for meeting room negotiations to take place, with team members debating who had more of a need for a meeting room at a given time. Blackdot now has a stricter approach to meeting room bookings and less structured meetings often take place around desks or in the kitchen. If all else fails, a nearby café can make the perfect office annex for non-confidential discussions.

3. Musical chairs

Blackdot switched to hot-desking a few months ago in an effort to maximise available desk real-estate. While initial reactions were mixed, the Blackdot team has embraced this new way of working, but for those used to a regular desk, there have been a few key lessons to learn in the adjustment period:
 
  • The early bird gets the worm – get in early to snap up the ‘best’ seat.
  • If you’re away from your desk for a prolonged period, don’t be surprised if your desk has been usurped in the meantime.
  • Don’t forget to pack up your phone or laptop charger at the end of the day – some power-hungry colleague might snap it up before you can get back to it.
 
4. Tuning out the white noise

While the Blackdot team have enjoyed the increased collaboration that comes from having a bigger team, sometimes it can get a little loud in an open plan environment – particularly if you need to dedicate time to quiet work. Blackdot planned for this in its recent office renovation, adding in booths for more solitary work or making phone calls. However, for those who find themselves in the midst of the open-plan rabble, a set of headphones and a good playlist can usually help to tune out the noise.

5. Staying true to company values in the face of rapid growth

Blackdot’s values are a core part of the business’ culture, so it is important that the expanding team stays connected to these values. Blackdot’s values of growth, quality, challenge, being real, working smart and loving your life are communicated to job applicants and new recruits, and are reinforced on a regular basis as part of team meetings and communications. Find out more about Blackdot’s values
 
The Blackdot team continues to grow as it takes on more transformation projects with top-tier clients. If you are interested in joining the Blackdot team, check out Blackdot Careers for current opportunities.