Today, a strategic plan goes well beyond the traditional approach, one which told companies to simply deliver whatever the customer seemed to need—or want. Strategy&’s Leslie Moeller and Dr. Joachim Rotering have a few tips for CEOs when it comes to unlocking growth potential.
1. First, they advise that business leaders grow from their strengths rather than chase growth in all the wrong places. In other words, make the most of what you already do well. Developing your business’s current strengths, and then developing new ones, can differentiate a company from the pack. Do what you do best, and let the growth come from there.
2. Next, look to your digital investments. Are they helping you differentiate yourself from other companies in your market? According to the above-mentioned survey, digital leaders were twice as likely as their ‘less digital-savvy’ counterparts to achieve rapid, profitable growth. Develop a digital agenda, one that goes beyond a simple IT department. Turn your data into insight. Many organizations aren’t prepared to do this, so make sure that yours is. Make sure that your tools can keep up with your data.
2. Finally, look to invest in innovation. The Global Survey shined a light on firms that have a stronger global R&D footprint. These firms outperform their less globalized competitors in financial measures. However, to truly utilize innovation, companies need to first decide which markets are crucial to their growth, and then determine where to invest their R&D resources.
It is important to remember that a company can only grow profitably and sustainably from a position of strength. A struggling enterprise needs to first focus on its economic lifelines and do foundational work; working on reorganization and cost optimization before any new growth strategies can succeed. Typically, a company that enters into a new business to escape a weak position will simply become weaker still, because they have moved into a market in which they lack the capabilities needed to succeed.
Since growth is the ultimate test of a business’s vitality, it is only smart to develop a plan to reach that goal. Hopefully these strategy tips will help CEOs develop a profitable growth plan, taking it from idea to fulfillment.