4 Essentials of a Corporate Growth Strategy that Works

4 Essentials of a Corporate Growth Strategy that Works
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A Corporate Growth Strategy that Works
What is the secret to actually emerging from your strategy retreat with a corporate growth strategy that is actually better, bigger, and stronger? Sadly, company growth strategies are rarely 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 company growth strategies, however, fall short.  According to IBM, less than 10% of well formulated growth 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 revenue growth, we consistently hear some common themes. The themes range from not having full leadership alignment, 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 revenue 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 strategic priorities 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 from change management simulation data 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 actively involve their key stakeholders in growth planning 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 and accountabilities, 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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