There are many things you don’t want to do if you’re piloting a plane. One of the most fundamental is to not go into a stall. This is a sudden reduction in lift, even though the plane is still moving, and the engines are still running. You are however no longer technically ‘flying’. To recover from the stall you need to increase power, or point the aircraft towards earth and pick up speed. Pilots do this routinely and instinctively, always watching out that they are not approaching ‘stall speed.’
The analogy to business growth is notable. Enterprises initially tend to ‘get airborne’ because of the energy and drive of the Founding team. We talk about startups reaching escape velocity, and taking off. We recognize when an organization is at cruising altitude. And then what? Cruising implies that the desired state has been reached. Time for the crew to take their hands off the controls, flick on the autopilot and...
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