4 Essentials of a Corporate Growth Strategy that Works

A seedling illustrates a Corporate Growth Strategy

A Corporate Growth Strategy that Works
What is the secret to actually emerging from your growth strategy better, bigger, and stronger? The dreams of high business growth are big but, sadly, few are fully realized.

Sure, there are some success stories.  Just take Nokia.  A Finland-based company in business since 1865, it has been transformed from its founding as a pulp mill to its preeminence, at one time, as the largest global vendor of mobile and smartphones.  Nokia was able to transition from one business through others, transforming itself and growing to meet contemporary and future business needs.

Far more growth strategies, however, fall short.  In fact, IBM found that less than 10% of well formulated strategies are effectively executed.

What constitutes the difference between a successful growth strategy that works and one that fails to meet expectations?

The Corporate Growth Strategy Failures
When we ask executives to list their top barriers to growth, we consistently hear some common themes. The themes range from not having full leadership commitment, not having a clear enough strategic plan for growth, not having a growth-oriented company culture, not being innovative enough, not having the right financial or people resources, or just being in markets that are not ripe for high growth.

The Corporate Growth Successes
Those companies that have learned not only how to craft a meaningful growth strategy but, more importantly, how to execute against that growth strategy are the winners.  They have been able to translate clear and compelling growth plans into concrete and sustainable actions.  A multi-faceted approach is required to stimulate high growth.

The Four Essentials of a Corporate Growth Strategy that Works
Our experience has shown, time and again, that there are four essentials to implementing a successful corporate growth strategy:  having sufficient resources, focusing on few critical areas, understanding the psychology of change, and instituting aligned success metrics to support high growth.

1. Focusing on the Critical few Areas that Impact Growth
The challenge of far too many business strategies is that they are too vague, unclear, and dispersed. A successful corporate growth strategy needs clarity of purpose and a ruthless focus on the critical few moves that directly drive higher levels of growth.  The declared game plan for success must be understood, believable and implementable enough by all key stakeholders.

High growth firms ruthlessly identify the 2-4 big rocks that have the highest correlation to growth.

2. Having Sufficient Resources to Grow
If you’re serious about growing the top line, you have to invest in growth. Growth takes more than sufficient dollars; it takes the dedicated time of critical employees and the energy and commitment of leadership.  Unless your executives are actively engaged in the growth effort, unless employees understand and support it, and unless you allocate adequate finances, your growth plans will most likely fall short.

High growth firms ruthlessly allocate their most strategic and high performing resources to grow.

3. Understanding the Psychology of Change
New growth strategies require new beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. We know that changing the way you do things requires the motivation to change, a compelling vision for success, clear expectations about what to do differently, and accountability to make it all happen. Do not underestimate the resistance to change or the investment required to garner support.

High growth firms proactively involve their key stakeholders to instill a high growth mindset that accepts, supports, and adopts the necessary actions for the growth.

4. Aligned Success Metrics and Motivators
You need to track and measure the activities and behaviors that support growth. And you need to provide appropriate recognition and rewards for the desired behaviors along with proportionate consequences for misaligned behaviors and actions.  Otherwise, employees are likely to slip back into the “tried and true” behaviors that worked before.

High growth firms ruthlessly align goals, roles, success metrics, rewards and recognition with their high growth plans.

The Bottom Line
If you’re serious about your corporate growth strategy, you need to invest time and effort in implementing it.  Have you set aside adequate resources, defined the critical few moves, prepared the workforce for change and put systems in place to keep growth on track?

To learn more about creating a corporate growth strategy that works, download 7 Ways to Stress Test Your Sales Strategy

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