As outlined in our previous article, the recovery is unlikely to be linear yet there will be good growth prospects for many businesses. While the competitive landscape has changes, references to the ‘new normal’ dangerously suggest there will be a paradigm shift, with new fundamentals and where totally new rules apply. Instead we see an acceleration of existing trends. Based on our experience working in business in business and with our clients, ten growth lessons we’ve noticed working with high performing businesses:
1 Plan early to identify when, where and how to grow. The trick is to make the planning effective, not only in the long term but also in the immediate and medium term.
2 Reallocate and align resources to focus effort, talent, supplies, the proposition. Half-baked is a distraction so reduce costs and effort in other areas to fund investment. Focus on the goal yet be flexible.
3 Build high performing teams that are accountable. Effective leadership is earned; there’s no entitlement to it.
4 Ensure the business rhythm and processes are appropriate. Be wary of overcomplicating things. Make meetings purposeful or change them. Be wary of meetings that support managers grandstanding.
5 Understand the customer, how they become aware of brands, their triggers, their choices and go beyond ‘truthiness’ – that collection of myths, anecdotes and bias that reflect insular hive-mind thinking. Instead be objective and insightful by challenging your perspectives, as the office is not a great place to view the world from.
6 Understand and embrace the impact of digitisation, which means being comfortable with its paradoxically ambiguous and mathematical nature. Don’t over-think it as many of the standards have already been set. Digitisation requires news skills, new talent with a different outlook. Accepted behaviours, management style and structures may need to change to accommodate that new talent.
7 Consider diversification into complementary products and services to build scale and relevance. This will help avoid being constrained by non-digital business models.
8 Marketing needs to be accountable and effectiveness can be measured. Effective selling deserves at least as much support as measurement and successful organisations celebrate and support sales staff.
9 Build a good network of internal and external advisors to turn to and be wary of sycophants.
10 Finance should help accelerate business development and decision-making by providing financial and intellectual capital.
How we can help: We work with clients to support scale up and exit planning as well as general advisory services (eg non exec) that draws on extensive digital scale up and digital disruption. Get in touch if you would like to know more and have a free initial discussion.