Is This Model Scalable?

The premise of this book is that self-directed teams organized around their clients is the most effective and efficient model for professional service companies. And that professional service companies organized by internal functions will become dinosaurs because they simply won't be able to react fast enough and in the best interests of their clients to be competitive.

It's my belief that the first two sections of this book covering self-directed teams, nourished by a full-feedback environment, are useful in helping a service company organize for the ultimate benefit of their stakeholders.

I've been asked if this concept is scalable? In years past, I've heard comments like, "Sure, Joe, this works for a company of 20 people, but will it work when you're larger?" The same question was asked when there were 40 of us. We now have more than 60 full-time associates and, although it's being asked less frequently, it bears discussion.

In regard to this subject, a memorable moment for me was at one of our yearly Spring Advances, in Warner Springs, California. We were in team breakouts. Four or five teams were spread out on a lawn working on their plans. Someone asked me how many teams I thought this model would handle. I told them I could see dozens of teams disappearing over the top of the hill.

Self-directed teams bathed in feedback may be more scalable – and extendable – than any organizational model to date for professional service companies.