They helped us see the same things but in a different way. A way that changed how we think about the opportunities for our business.
At the beginning all companies grow but not all enjoy accelerated growth or continue to grow into big companies; many struggle to build momentum or decelerate and eventually fail. Like the causes of slowing growth the business improvement strategy is often situation specific to the company: what works for one company is no guarantee for all companies. Causes typically fall into five areas:
Restraining Market and Customer Definitions – defining the markets the company competes in myopically or describing prospects in ways that focus business development too narrowly leads to artificial depletion of opportunities and a premature focus on cost reduction. Reinterpretation of value provision and adopting access-based or variety-based segmentation models often ignites new thinking and the birth of new products.
Insufficient Resources – whether financial or human, having insufficient resources to fund investment and realise business development opportunities frustrates everyone. The root cause can be unnecessary complications in the way customer value is created or accessed, necessitating the need to free-up resources that are deployed in ways that don’t support the existing strategy and value proposition.
Business-Model Constraints – difficulties scaling the business whilst maintaining adequate profit levels necessitates a reappraisal of model assumptions and assessment of possible pivots by repurposing what has been built and what has been learned to find new avenues of growth.
Lack of Focus and Follow-Through – misaligned resources, conflicting strategic objectives, strategy inarticulateness and the wrong performance metrics often result in the absence of focus on the key performance drivers. Alternatively, the absence of the right capabilities ultimately leads to a competitive disadvantage and lost business. Determining the future competitive axis and building the appropriate capabilities is key.
It’s common and sometimes right to blame external factors hampering growth but often companies need more introspection to rediscover growth inhibitors. Knowing what to look for, cause and effect relationships and proven change management operatives is where we can help.