Trellis Partners

We build organizations that scale


Scaling is Hard

When you’re less than 50 people, it’s easy to get things done. Communication and coordination happen naturally. Collaboration is seamless. Responsibilities are clear. Decision making, fast and crisp. As a result, execution is strong – yet you can turn on a dime.

But by the time you’re 250 people, things are very different. If you’re like most companies, you ‘ll have Silos. Frictions. Lack of alignment. Poor collaboration. And the dreaded 3 Bs: 
Bottlenecks, Bureaucracy and Bickering.

Trellis Partners

Scaling means
More than Growing

Scaling means more than just growing your top line. For your organization to be scaleable, it needs to be as nimble, collaborative and high performing when you reach 250 people as it was when you had 50. That’s doesn’t happen without effort.

Why? Because the complexity of your organization grows exponentially, even as your headcount grows linearly.

And complexity brings frictions.

And frictions slow you down.

Trellis Partners

The 6 Key Challenges of Scaling

Based on hard-won experience

I’ve helped over 40 scale-ups to scale successfully, including 7 unicorns and 1 decacorn. These are the challenges they encounter most often.

Trellis Partners

What We Do


  • CEO Coaching
  • Co-Founder Coaching
  • High-Performing Team Workshops
  • Strategic Alignment Workshops


  • Busting Silos
  • Strengthening Accountability
  • Debottlenecking Procesess
  • Measuring Organizational Performance


  • Building a true C-Suite
  • Scaling Teams
  • Empowering mid-Level Managers
  • Scaling your Culture

Client Testimonials


Rob Bier is a seasoned expert in building high-performance organizations with over 25 years’ experience. He has supported over 40 scale-ups, including 8 that became unicorns or decacorns while he worked with them.

Rob is the author of the acclaimed 2024 best seller Smooth Scaling: 20 Rituals to Build a Friction-Free Organization. The book explains why many companies fail to scale, offering a clear diagnosis, along with twenty practical Rituals that boost performance and support frictionless growth.

Rob was a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist prior to becoming an expert advisor on scaling. He has worked with over 40 companies, including 8 that became unicorns or decacorns during the time he worked with them. He is on the Board of and is a co-founder and Chairman of MoneySmart. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur he was an operating partner at TowerBrook Capital and a senior partner at Monitor Group, the strategy firm.


Bill Underwood has been at the forefront of transformative leadership and organizational development for over 30 years. Bill’s mission has been consistent throughout his career: to design and lead organizational programs that enhance leadership skills that fundamentally change an organization’s performance.

Bill’s approach is not just about coaching executive leaders and their teams. It’s about bringing the company’s visions to life, making strategic choices, and cultivating a company culture that mirrors exemplary leadership. His work transforms dialogue from mere debates to a pathway for decisive action and meaningful change, leaving a lasting impact on the organization.

Bill’s background is in cognitive psychology, organizational learning, action science, general semantics and mindfulness. Based in Santa Cruz, Bill has worked with many of the Bay Area’s leading technology companies including Adobe Systems, Airbnb, Autodesk, Cisco Systems, eBay, and others.

Why do some businesses “fail to scale”? Smooth Scaling offers a clear diagnosis, along with twenty practical Rituals to boost your organization’s performance and achieve frictionless growth. Where other books on scaling focus on strategy, fundraising, or product-market fit, Smooth Scaling addresses the most pervasive and least-understood fail point that threatens to kneecap even the best-laid scaling plan: organizational friction. Expert Rob Bier reveals why organizational frictions take hold as you grow and how they slow your company down. These growth pains are both predictable and preventable, yet they almost always take leaders by surprise. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

In Smooth Scaling, you will learn how to:

  • Build trust proactively across your organization
  • Turn your managers into a powerful driver of productivity and scalability
  • Build high-performance teams with the people you’ve got
  • Break down barriers between departments to prevent silos
  • Maintain a cohesive high-trust culture as you grow

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Trellis Partners

We build organizations that scale


Founders are great at getting stuff done. Most learn how to delegate and make sure stuff gets done. But to be a Scaling CEO, Founders need to make a much bigger transition: from struggle to make the transition from Founder to Leader. Some are all vision with little to no management capabilities, while others lack the right communication skills or don’t know how to let go.

The flip-side of the previous challenge: if you do need to bring in senior talent, it’s challenging to find the right people who can integrate into your culture and organization. But without them you may not have the expertise, experience and leadership your company needs to reach the next level.

Start-ups and smaller companies are built by dedicated functional heads, who are great at running their departments. Unfortunately, they often struggle to grow into the C-Suite execs you need as your company grows, leaving you a dilemma: stick with them and endure the drawbacks and limitations, or hire someone above them and risk losing them.

For your organization to scale, every level within your org has to be able to operate to a high level of accountability. So it’s crucial that your mangers to understand what accountability really is and how to cultivate it in their teams.

Organizational silos are a bit like early-onset arthritis: a disease that we think only afflicts old companies, but which actually sets in much sooner than you’d think. Maintaining truly effective cross-functional collaboration is one of the hardest challenges for scale-ups – but also one of the most important to overcome.

High-performing teams are the foundation of organizational performance – and your top team is the most important of all. High-growth companies need to ensure their top team is super tightly aligned and working well together on the company’s biggest issues. Otherwise, there will be problems lower down the org and farther down the road.