Guns and Roses was a constant presence in my yellow Sony Walkman, and later my Jeep Wrangler’s aftermarket CD player. The band’s leader, Axl Rose, was famous (or perhaps infamous) for a great many attributes; but organizational guru sharing advice, he was generally not.
But, as I attempt to transition a company from start-up to a scale up, his words, not Welch’s or Buffet’s or Collins’, ring most loudly in my ears. My personal experiences, captured in four GnR classics, highlight the self-realization needed initiate the scale-up process, the need to focus on fundamentals, the emotional persistence required and the need to take a longer view of what is a difficult and elusive journey.
Like GnR’s music, the scale-up phase is at once frenetic, exhilarating, angst ridden, inspirational, exasperating and satisfying. So, join me on a quick journey on how to transition a company from a start-up to a scale-up… if you have the “Appetite.”