Originally published on Chief Outsiders
In our first blog of the series, we defined the difference between a growth plan and a growth engine. In that discussion, we defined a growth plan as a singular event that identifies future revenue and profit streams and identifies capabilities, assets, and competencies the business needs to build to take advantage of future growth opportunities. As we define it, however, a growth engine is not an event or a document or a plan, a growth engine is a system of integrated and replicable growth focused processes that support and enable sustained growth performance over a number of years. That blog included a brief questionnaire that helped you assess your company’s ability to put a growth engine in place.
Don’t get us wrong, growth plans have value. They get the executive team together focused on growing the company—at least during the planning session. A frequent problem, however, is that everyone leaves the planning session and more often than not, goes back to implementing the close-in, tactical plans for their respective functional areas. Does this sound familiar? The real challenge with building sustainable growth isn’t the plan, it is integrating the growth planning discipline into the daily management “biorhythms” of your business.
In a BCG Henderson Institute article and study posted February 12, 2018, How Vital Companies Think, Act, and Thrive, the authors state, » The ability to continuously develop growth options as the main driver of vitality for a company. » They go on to say…strategy and execution cannot be separated from one another, and to be vital, companies need to build the right capabilities—especially in relation to technology and people. And to that, we add a replicable process that assesses market opportunities and company capabilities in an ongoing fashion.
The real challenges aren’t understanding the value of growth to your business–they are about determining where your best growth opportunities are, prioritizing across multiple potential growth opportunities, integrating both shorter- and longer-term growth opportunities into your management processes, and organizing for success and building an ability to tap into new revenue streams consistently and over multiple years.
That’s where we are going to focus on this follow-on article.
The Value of Integrating Short- and Long-term Growth Planning into Your Management Processes
Every business has management processes that they utilize. Some are highly informal, and some are very formal. On the informal end of the spectrum are businesses that meet as management teams on an ad hoc basis. When the need is evident, the executive team meets. Otherwise, there are few regularly scheduled meetings.
On the complete other end of the spectrum are those businesses with a well-developed meeting cadence. These businesses have “biorhythms” which meet the business needs for coordination and collaboration. Often, these businesses are serious adopters of well-defined management disciplines like EOS/Traction.