Ambidexterity is combining external orientation with internal coordination. This means that you need to scale the volume of external interaction as the organization grows while. At the same time, you need to restrain the burden of internal communication, by providing clear roles and responsibilities as well as preventing the CEO from overloading.
Yet, the challenge of maintaining ambidextrous becomes more daunting as the organization grows. As you generate more business momentum you also receive more business opportunities. As you increase the size of your organization, complexity rises too.
With the support of the Goldschmeding Foundation, ScaleUpLab conducted a big data analysis of all internal and external email-based communication of five scale-ups in our community over the course of their scale-up journey.
Our research revealed that that the volume and direction of email communication is a cruel yet insightful proxy for ambidextrous behavior, that scale-up CEO/MTs do well to periodically self-assess their level of ambidexterity (for this we developed a simple software tool: the CEO Sanity Saver) and that appointing a COO helps in reducing the burden.