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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Ng

How is Scaling People Relevant In Times of Crisis?

Have you ever took part in making a human pyramid?

Building an organisation is essentially like building a real life human pyramid.

Normally, we would be building these human pyramids on relatively stable ground, however with different environmental conditions - sandy grounds, dry grounds, muddy grounds, grassy grounds, etc.

However, imagine building a human pyramid now on shaky grounds - where there is an earthquake going on, or floods, or in our case - a virus on a pandemic scale!

From the picture above - which tier of people are most important when it comes to building a human pyramid on shaky ground?

The foundational layer (which is right at the very bottom of the pyramid) is the most important tier of the pyramid - without a strong, stable, & adaptable foundational layer of the human pyramid - nothing would be able to stay on top!

So when it comes to Scaling People in times of uncertainty and chaos - it is about identifying who these people are in your organisation (that are on the most bottom, foundational level of the human pyramid) - and most importantly retaining them.

These are the people who helps maintain the structure for growth even in undesired times and environment.

The problem is when these organisations lose these key people in chaotic times - which weakens the foundation of the organisation tremendously.

It is always better to have a larger pool of these key foundational people in place with no further layer on top, compared to having multiple layers of people on the pyramid stacked on top of only a couple of foundational people.

How Scaling People adds further value to this is to identify the individual differences in these foundational layer of people - because it is not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to retaining them.

Exceptional people are driven and motivated by different factors that needs the organisation to take extra note if they truly want to retain these people in the organisation.

And when all else fails - we would need to identify what is the minimum structure that the organisation can work with - with the remaining people in place

It won't be the ideal case, but this structure would probably be needed in place in order to survive a cataclysmic situation for the short term.

So the question is - how are you organising your organisational's structure & people in order to survive and scale this pandemic?

Further questions for reflection:

1. Do you know who are your key foundational layer of people in your organisation?

2. Do you know what makes them tick as individuals?

3. Do you have a strategy to retain these layer of people?

4. Do you then have a creative back-up organisational strategy in place - in case some of these key layer of people have leave the organisation due to unforeseen reasons?

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