Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Four Fundamentals of Revenue Growth

With recovery from the recession still moving at a snail’s pace, how worried should you be about your company's future revenue growth? In a word: very. "But wait," you might say. "Corporate profits are at their highest levels in 60 years, with profitability as a percentage of GDP at an all-time high of 10.3 percent. Companies are holding trillions in cash reserves, and are looking stronger than ever after squeezing every dollar of cost they could find out of their operations over the past four years." This is correct, but it fails to tell the whole story.

Speed of Execution

Business conditions continue to change at an exponential rate. Technology, product life cycles, and consumer preferences are all moving at a pace that requires speed and agility of execution. Moving too slow can mean losing market position, especially in today’s macro economy.

The successful program of change has two goals: to motivate the organization to rapidly act and to create a process that links organizational goals to the work that must be implemented. Yet while many businesses develop strategic plans for market share growth, the reality is that few achieve it. Why? Because there is a breakdown in the process between setting a vision and implementing the actions to achieve it. Success in not only executing the plan, but accelerating its implementation, requires a shift in thinking — one which recognizes that any growth strategy must be treated as a change initiative. AT&T’s failure in successfully communicating its technology strategy and implementing its organizational vision led to a loss of market share. The ultimate result: the best and the brightest departed for more innovative organizations. And, the company’s once market dominance gave way to corporate demise and the acquisition of AT&T by one of its Ma Bell spin-offs.

Managing change can be tricky in any economic environment. It is here that leadership can have its greatest impact. The changes that accompany any strategy require making a firm connection from the board to management to the implementation team. And, within each group, it is essential to identify members who can be tasked with championing the change agenda and creating accountabilities for its success.

Dr. John P. Kotter, the widely recognized expert and author on change, terms this as the creation of a “guiding coalition.” And, it is this group of champions that possesses the appropriate credibility and set of authorities to speed decision making and culturally drive the initiative forward. Many leaders have found that by building a team of interested and empowered individuals (at all levels in the organization) they’ve been rewarded with diverse points of view, new ideas and broader ranges of expertise — all necessary to anchor new approaches in the organization.

Defining the high level business strategy clearly and compellingly, and then connecting it to the associated supporting projects deep in the organization, sets the stage for communication, buy-in and ownership. Organizational speed requires a sound plan accompanied by the recognition that success will only emerge from an engaged organization that is fully aligned and committed to its priorities.

In conclusion, future revenue growth is not an abstract concept that can be left to work itself out down the road. Company leaders need to take bold steps now to quickly put that growth in motion. Focus, customer alignment, pricing management, and speed of execution are four critical components for succeeding in today’s sluggish macro economy.

Laura Keyser Brunner is president of MainStream Management LLC, a Robins, IA based consultancy, and has experience in organizational restructuring, employee engagement and programs to enhance the competitiveness of Fortune 500 and public sector clients globally. Prior to joining MainStream, she was a member of the ESI International, Inc. (“ESI”) executive management team for over 13 years. ESI is a $100M, publicly traded global company that provides project management learning programs. Prior to joining ESI, Ms. Brunner had a ten year career with AT&T.




  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.