If you’re growing through acquisition:
- Look hard at administrative and decision-making processes. That’s where run-ins will happen later.
- Put your own folks in charge of the business side, but leave the brainiacs alone.
- Listen hard—and often—to make sure everybody’s on the same page.
- Don’t run after every opportunity if it takes you away from your core expertise. Example: P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, growing 21 percent a year, won’t open a new place unless it fits the chain’s demographic profile.
- Plan for more growth even when business is going nuts.