A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“If every day is a gift then today was socks” (5/27)
“Kill them with success and bury them with a smile” (5/27)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (5/27)
“How do you make a hamburger laugh?"/"Pickle it gently.” (5/27)
“What did the hamburger say when it pleaded ‘not guilty’?"/"I’ve been flamed!” (5/27)
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Entry from August 08, 2012
Founder’s Trap

"Founder’s trap” describes a problem that many new companies experience. A founder might be able to handle most of the responsibilities of a small company, but that founder might be incapable of delegating responsibility in a rapidly growing company. The founder’s management deficiencies can be the “trap” affecting the company’s financial success.

The term “founder’s trap” has been cited in print since at least 1981 and may have been coined by Dr. Ichak Adizes. Similar names include “founder’s syndrome” (cited in print since at least 1983) and “founder’s disease” (cited in print since at least 1991).


OCLC WorldCat record
Organizational Lifecycles
Author: Ichak Adizes; Adizes Institute.
Publisher: [Carpinteria, Calif.] : Adizes, ©1981.
Series: Adizes synergetic method A’S/M, 5-8. 
Edition/Format:  DVD video : English
Summary: “Organizational problems change as organizations change. In the course of teaching viewers how to predict future problems, ... shows how organizations can act today to solve the problems of tomorrow. Once you understand the characteristics that are part of each phase of the organizational lifecycle, you can determine your organization’s position in its lifecycle, and you will be better able to move toward Prime, the optimal phase. Organizations caught in what Dr. Adizes has called the ‘Founder’s trap’ will learn how to move toward independence, and organizations that have become aristocratic or bureaucratic will find ways to rejuvenate for new growth"--Publisher. 

Google Books
Man-Made Medicine:
Women’s health, public policy, and reform

By Kary L Moss
Durham, NC: Duke University Press
1996
Pg. 90:
Stephanie Riger has described, for example, a “founders trap,” (Pg. 91—ed.) which is the “reluctance of founders to institutionalize leadership by establishing procedures an policies which do not require their personal judgment.”

3 November 1996, Fresno (CA) Bee, “Working and communicating family business can be dynamic”:
“Some of the things that make the best, most powerful entrepreneurs also can mean problems in passing on the business - the founder’s trap,” said Rudy ...

28 February 1997, The Financial Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica), “The advantages of going public,” pg. 21, col. 1:
This is where subjective factors come in. According to Ichak Adizes, author of Corporate Life Cycles, companies often have to break what he calls “The Founders or Family Trap” in order to mature into corporate stability.

Adizes Institute
Issue # 45 I Apil 2007
Leadership Changes in Getting Out of the “Founder’s Trap”
by Dr. Ichak Adizes
The Trap
Every era in human history has specific diseases which organizations suffer from. When I say “organizations” I have in mind empires, movements, schools of thought, for-profit-organizations. Many organizations were born, grew to some point, got into a trap where there was no way out, and disappeared. The cause for this is a disease called “Founder’s Trap”. Thousands of companies worldwide are currently struggling with this disease and the organizational therapy. Unfortunately there still are no clear prescriptions for how to get out of this trap. Frequently you can find the following item on the treatment list: “hire a professional from outside.” If this is good medicine, should it not be taken by organizations?

The Australian
Not letting go of power is the founder’s trap
by: Entrepreneur: Morris Kaplan
November 01, 2008 12:00AM
(...)
In David Lumb’s case he identified what is classically referred to in management texts as the Founder’s Trap. When it comes time to start delegating part of their responsibilities, the founder often finds it impossible to let go. He wants other people to make decisions, but doesn’t trust them to make the right ones. Until the founder learns to delegate, growth is stunted.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Wednesday, August 08, 2012 • Permalink