The 2008 recession put most businesses in ‘defense’ mode. More than a decade later, many are still thinking this way or have forgotten how to grow.
Yes, it’s true that powerful forces are reshaping the world today, but as a business leader, you must ensure you are creating an organization that doesn’t just survive but can thrive in the face of these dramatic changes.
At Core Catalysts, we work with clients to help them focus on orienting their organizations to actively pursue growth and be well placed to benefit from market change and disruption. Here are five questions we recommend business leaders should ask themselves to make sure they have the right growth mindset:
In the ‘good old days’, it was possible to be successful simply riding market growth, and when times were hard, the focus could switch quickly to cost cutting. Now, things are less simple, with growth harder to come by and organizations already lean. Compounding this, top-line growth also needs to be profitable growth if you want to create true business value.
So, what should you do?
Truly innovate! Whether it is moving into new markets or adjacent sectors, teaming up with other businesses that compliment your own, or inventing new products and services, you must look at new ways to generate top-line growth that also deliver clear bottom line benefits.
Many companies are stuck in the mode of doing things the way they have always done it, but trying to do this with fewer people and less resource. While having a lean organization is admirable, are you devoting any resource to thinking and being more efficient?
Business models are rapidly changing (think Uber changing employment models, Amazon changing how people research and buy products, Apple changing how people communicate, Microsoft changing how people work) and many companies have not kept pace because they have stopped allocating resources to consider how to reduce bureaucracy and low value-add activities, and how to keep their employees and customers engaged.
If you want to thrive, devote some time and resource to re-examining how you do things on a more fundamental level. Get serious about being truly efficient!
To win, your company needs the ability to quickly read, adapt, and react to signals of change. This means using the internal and external data available to you, developing theories and insights, and then experimenting rapidly, frequently, and economically – not only with products and services, but also with business models, processes, and strategies.
Are you being proactive on testing your analytical hypotheses and hunches on what is happening in your market and with your customers?
Digital technologies are creating connectivity that is transforming commerce and society. At the same time, digital technologies are becoming embedded in everyday objects, from smart speakers and cars, to refrigerators and microwaves, roads and buildings, blurring the distinctions between the physical and digital world.
Both traditional communication methods such as TV and newspaper advertising, and ‘new media’ tools such as email and social networking are morphing, as where people work and ‘play’ and how they do this change.
Are you thinking about the two-sides of connectivity (physical and virtual) and how this might change how you stay connected with your customers?
It is no longer enough to just deliver strong quarter-by-quarter results. It might be tempting to simply fortify your position, and wait for the dust to settle, or ride the wave where there is obvious growth, but these complex challenges are not temporary … you need to be continually laying the foundations for sustainable continual growth as they are the new status quo. Inaction is not an option.
Have you ensured your business has a mission, long-term vision, and clear strategies and tactics to make these a reality?
If you found answering these questions uncomfortable, or you want to make sure you have the right growth mindset, contact us to see how we might be able to help.
– Mark Jacobs, Client Service & Delivery