I love helping you discover resources on the membership site and answering your questions about the different aspects of the 7 Stages of Growth. I know when one person asks a question, someone else has the same question. In this weekly email, I’m going to answer some of the questions I’ve received and provide insights that I hope will continue to help you become an expert in this research-based, field-tested model.

Q:  Do you use FTEs (full time equivalent) to determine employee count?

A:  No. I found this definition of FTEs. The ratio of the total number of paid hours during a period (part time, full time, contracted) by the number of working hours in that period Mondays through Fridays.

The ratio units are FTE units or equivalent employees working full-time. In other words, one FTE is equivalent to one employee working full-time. FTE is a useful measurement because it helps budget analysts and project managers estimate labor costs. So, knowing the FTE count for an organization has its place.

However, when determining the stage of growth, you want to be very much aware of each head count – full-time and part-time – because it’s the actual number of people that determine where the company is in its stage of growth. Let’s say you determine a company is in Stage 2 by an FTE count of 17.  But they literally have 22 people by headcount. You may think they are in Stage 2 and misdiagnose their real stage of growth.  

Always start with the real headcount. We also don’t include Independent Contractors in the headcount when determining the stage of growth. However, there are some specific caveats to this that may deserve a second consideration. Such as:  does the CEO rely on those IC to make critical decisions for the company? Is their business model dependent upon ICs? I’ve seen an example where the CEO specifically hired ICs to make up the leadership team – it was an online business model and they met virtually weekly to talk about strategy. In this case, as in many situations, it isn’t black and white, but shades of gray.

Q:  Is there a standard or a specific number you are looking for when a company completes their Non-Negotiable Rules during the X-Ray process?

A: No. However, I encourage CEOs to strive for completion of at least 80-90% before they start to tackle another set of NNRs. Our conversation with those CEOs should help them understand the reality of understanding ‘what you don’t get done in any stage of growth won’t go away’. These are non-negotiable because not attending to those rules in each stage of growth continues to wear away the company’s ability to grow.

Q:  How does this model work with companies that are downsizing?

A: The challenge for a company that downsizes, is they do have to rethink the stage of growth they are downsizing to. I would first ask why they are downsizing. That will help you understand what the cause is. If they are downsizing because of a lack of sales, then the challenges in Stage 2 will be of value for them to revisit. Normally, a company hasn’t addressed all the challenges in the stage prior, so going back into a stage they have left, isn’t all that different. Just focus on the right things for a Stage 2 leader. The CEO will have to be Dominant not Facilitative, coaching will still be an important style, there needs to be a bit more builder showing up. The key is to understand why they are downsizing. So, If they are Stage 3 and going into Stage 2, they should adjust back to the issues of Stage 2.

Remember, take time to look through the resources on the GCS Membership Site. If you are looking for something specific, send me an email. If I know where it is, that will save you time. If I don’t have it, I can probably create it or find it. I’m happy to help so you don’t get frustrated looking for something.



Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!

P.S. Looking for a gift for a client? Visit this website to learn more about my book series on the 7 Stages of Growth.