The balance of the formal and informal changes over the course of a company’s life cycle and imbalances tend to appear during periods of significant growth—or significant declines in growth.
Young companies, those with between ten and fifty people, are informal by nature for four very good reasons. First, their worlds are largely unpredictable and unstable. Second, the participants know each other personally. Third, they are constantly forming and reforming in different ways to address sudden unexpected challenges. Finally, the personal values of the company are usually strongly shared—even if unstated—because of the hands-on involvement of leaders and the visible, interactive way they make decisions and solve ...

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