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What are You Growing? The Gap between Individuals and Organizations

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

As a business and leadership coach I help my clients look at the intersection of creativity and growth and harness those insights to create meaningful momentum. For many business leaders, when they think about growth, they immediately think of expansion, profitability, and scaling up. But those metrics are outputs, and growth is an action. Whether you are an individual executive looking to amplify your leadership skills and outcomes, or you have a business and are looking to manage your future trajectory, it’s important that you understand what growth is (and what it isn’t) so you can focus on creating an action plan.

At Break the Tape Leadership, growth is defined as,

“the act of changing from one state to another that creates an expansion of value, scope, or impact.”

That definition applies to individuals, teams, and organizations, but the approach and outcomes are distinctly different. For an individual, growth might look like any of the following:

The latest survey from that looked at the second wave of "The Great Reshuffle" reported that those that switched jobs did so to earn more, escape unproductive work cultures, and to increase their individual happiness and self worth. A record 38% reported that they felt,

"the least valued they had ever felt in their careers within the past year."

That explains why so many individuals are looking to increase or grow the quality of their work experience, leaving the organizations that still treat their workforce as commodities (something to trade and leverage for the good of the organization) in a very vulnerable spot. Meanwhile those "commodities" are finding "a change of scenery" and/or more "meaningful work." So goes, the ongoing discontent. Discontent can be measured, but more importantly, it can be felt.

For an organization, growth might continue to focus on measurable metrics such profitability and increasing market share. Business growth historically has reflected things that you can count vs. things that you can feel:

The stars of the future will be the organizations and companies that realize that the only way to make good on their growth plan will be to bring in the ideas and talent of their workforce. In doing so, they begin to close the gap between discontent and business metrics, grow retention, stability, and effectiveness. And the leaders that understand that they need new ways of working and thinking will find ways to make work more meaningful and fresh.

In short, as a coach and business development consultant, I help individuals define their growth objectives, strategize how to align those objectives with their organization's goals, and help them lead the type of change that is needed to make work purposeful, creative, and values-driven.

Organizations that understand that a great work culture minimizes employee churn, may not feel as paralyzed with the current statistic that 60% of the workforce is "looking." I don't know any business that can sustain that type of talent and resource drain. Focusing on new work models that build upon their workforce's ideas, and making change to environments that are more diverse, equitable, and inclusive are a few of the steps I help clients take to retool growth as something that can be measured and felt. Lip service solutions won't stem the tide of employees looking for a better solution and without change," The Great Reshuffle" will continue to be in the employees' favor.

If you're a growth-minded leader or work for a growth-minded organization, I invite you to help close the gap. I invite you to participate in the survey below. Your feedback will help create an aggregated data set that looks at the intersection between creativity and growth, and captures the perspectives of the individual leader and the organization/business they work for. You can access the survey for you and your organization at I encourage you to do both. It's 10 questions, 3 minutes, to discover a better way. I'll share how the data is shaping up in future posts.

(c) 2022 Break the Tape LLC


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