Why do so many businesses run into trouble during the start-up phase of the business storm cycle? Often, it’s because the start-up tries to run before it can walk. It needs to take the time to make the people-processes-IT triangle equilateral so that it can scale to the Business Storm Cycle as it turns around. It’s like competing in a three-legged race; if any one leg is out of kilter, it throws the whole balance off, especially as the pace of growth picks up, outstripping the enterprise’s ability to keep up.

What’s more, IT is essential to every department these days, and yet, if it’s not properly integrated with people and processes, the very thing that’s intended to increase a business’s production and efficiency can be what’s getting in its way. Every single aspect of the back office depends on IT—accounting, invoicing, banking, finance, investor relations, communications, legal, and human resources. If a company has a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, it’s even more fundamentally dependent on IT. But if people and processes aren’t integrated with IT, you’re setting yourself up for trouble later on in the Business Storm Cycle.

While it may seem tough, but possible, to ride out the hypergrowth phase we call the Tornado and come out intact, do consider getting an expert’s help along the way to keep things in balance and fix what’s not working. You can throw a lot of money at these problems without making a difference – or you can bring in someone who understands the challenges now and the ones you’ll have down the road in the next phase, and can help you to mitigate them. Sooner or later, your Tornado will end, and what’s broken will have to be fixed – but being aware of what’s likely to go wrong ahead of time, and acting early on to correct your course, can prevent a whole lot of pain down the road.