Do you need to scale to be the best?

In their book, “Extreme Ownership”, Navy SEALS Jocko Willink and Leif Babin share how SEAL teams were no larger than around six members. That was the ideal size for effectiveness.

Over my 12 years in digital, my teams have always been around six members. Which made us quick and nimble.

Avi Dan, contributor at Forbes, recently published an article about agency size. Here’s a few key points:

  • Size is less important than creativity
  • Big agencies are burdened with excess management, high overhead and rent
  • Big agencies lack tech innovation

My thoughts:
Size always matters, especially if your team isn’t organized. More chef’s in the kitchen won’t necessarily make a better meal.

As an agency finds success, and grows, it hires more middle managers. These managers are overseen by another layer. This stacking could slow innovation, especially in top-down hierarchies, which makes it more challenging to adopt and disseminate new technologies.

But, without expert hires, the team is less focused because they’re stretched thin. Rather than be a master of one role, they’re responsible for multiple.