Posted by Bob Brown on 21 Sep '15
The six steps to successful growth
Most organisations want to grow successfully and be sustainable.
Below an infographic outlines the steps.
Step one - decide your destination
Fundamental to success is understanding what you want to achieve i.e. what success will look like and feel like. It is also important to sense check if, in fact, the goal or vision is actually what you want or fits with the organisation. It is not always about a vision it can be about creating a successful strategy for growth in the short term and the goals to achieve in this period which could be to just address a specific issue in the organisation. Even in this case it is important to check that the short term goal is congruent with the longer term vision for the organisation.
Step two – know your starting point
Like any journey you can’t reach your destination if you don’t know where you are starting from. What are the values, the resources, your market position and any issues for the organisation? We use a tool to review where you are that includes a means of prioritising it's called The 4Ps© which helps identify what is important about your current situation going into the future.
Step three – what is the wider world, the landscape?
Looking outside the organisation what is the competitive landscape and the business and social environment? What is happening in technology or the political or social landscape which could have an impact? What is happening with suppliers and customers, is the market stable or vulnerable to global trends? How will the Chinese economy affect you, the growing elderly population? All these elements can provide insights into opportunities and signals for potential risks – speed bumps or potholes!
Step four - what makes you different?
We particularly like strategies based on identifying a niche, either in terms of a market or what you are offering – it gives many advantages and we always strive to find this with clients. Another alternative is competing on price preferably achieved through efficiency which means costs are low but this is a less effective strategy.
Step five – the road map
Nothing happens until there is action so a strategy is worthless if it doesn’t translate into a practical plan that your organisation can follow and is capable of implementing. Sometimes at this stage the strategy has to change maybe to include some organisational changes to make the strategy happen. For example, the strategy may involve approaching a new market and this may require getting more expertise in this sector.
Step six – measuring how far you have travelled
It is critical to measure progress, what has worked and what hasn't and to adapt the plan and strategy if either circumstances change or the results you expect don’t happen. It is even better to be prepared with alternative routes.
If all this sounds too difficult then I recommend our e book which simply shows how even a business like lettuce growing can have eight different strategies for business growth – it is a simple tale of seven brothers and will help with some of the questions you can use to develop a strong strategy.