What are the top 1 or 2 challenges IT leaders face at a fast growing organization?

I think there are certainly more than one. I think one of the biggest challenges that I've found is that when an organization's growing that fast, yet the demand on the organization is growing at the same pace, it's really hard for your leaders and managers to find the capacity to fill the open roles. So I did find, particularly at FireEye, when we were growing so fast, that we basically had to create a team that it was their job to go do the first level of vetting, and just make it easy for people to hire. People would block out a certain number of hours a day that they had to dedicate to either reviewing those resumes that had been vetted. We would do as much as we could for somebody before it was like, "Now you need to engage," right? So I think that was one of the biggest things. People can ask for head count, and you can give it to them, but when it's moving that quickly, it's really hard to find that balance in filling those roles and continuing to get the work done. So being really creative about how we did everything we could to help them and use as little of their time as possible, but where they were still able to make the decision—it was still their hire. I thought that was interesting.  Then I think the other challenge was how to make sure that you build out an organizational framework that can scale, but that you don't go too high-level, too big-title, too fast, and find that balance. Because you want room for growth for everybody that you're bringing into the organization.

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Anonymous Author
I think there are certainly more than one. I think one of the biggest challenges that I've found is that when an organization's growing that fast, yet the demand on the organization is growing at the same pace, it's really hard for your leaders and managers to find the capacity to fill the open roles. So I did find, particularly at FireEye, when we were growing so fast, that we basically had to create a team that it was their job to go do the first level of vetting, and just make it easy for people to hire. People would block out a certain number of hours a day that they had to dedicate to either reviewing those resumes that had been vetted. We would do as much as we could for somebody before it was like, "Now you need to engage," right? So I think that was one of the biggest things. People can ask for head count, and you can give it to them, but when it's moving that quickly, it's really hard to find that balance in filling those roles and continuing to get the work done. So being really creative about how we did everything we could to help them and use as little of their time as possible, but where they were still able to make the decision—it was still their hire. I thought that was interesting.  Then I think the other challenge was how to make sure that you build out an organizational framework that can scale, but that you don't go too high-level, too big-title, too fast, and find that balance. Because you want room for growth for everybody that you're bringing into the organization.
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Anonymous Author
One of the challenges I saw was just alignment.
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Anonymous Author
I think my situation was a little bit different, because I had always joined as the first CIO. So I had a little bit of an unfair advantage to kind of say, "Well, I don't have any frame of reference. We're just going to do it this way." Everyone was like, "Oh, I guess it's always done this way." Then you kind of discover that, well, actually, there's a bit of a wake-up call on an alignment issue. Either the memo is being missed, but we are growing at a relatively..."Hey, I've accepted that we're just making decisions pretty quickly, and we just have to align to the fact that we're all getting more organized, not just us." So that's kind of a key part of it.
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Anonymous Author
Getting policies in place and employees become familiar and comply with policies, especially regulatory policies.  You see in the news, new and evolving companies running into problems and CEO making excuses and has to eventually apologized for mistakes/errors made. These mistakes can damage their brand and reputation and put them out of business.
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Anonymous Author
The biggest challenge is balancing the desire to hire top talent and maintain a strong culture, with the need to add that talent as fast as possible. Especially for an org in which the headcount is critics to drive the growth, not adding resources fast enough could constrain growth. So a real challenge is deciding whether to wait for Ms. Right or hire Ms. Right Now. And in a company that is growing exponentially, the latter may not be the wrong decision. A great book about these challenges is Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman. Highly recommending for any company growing 50% or more annually and wanting to understand the challenges that come with it.
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