Blog Category: Organic Growth

Avoid the commodity death spiral at all costs.

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Imagine your business stopped innovating, your profits declined, and it is now budgeting time. To salvage next year, you’ll likely cut long-term costs, e.g. R&D or marketing, further reducing your ability to create high-value products. Next year, you’ll have even fewer options. This results in death or irrelevancy. If you’ve started this spiral, pull out quickly.

More in 2-minute video at 9. Avoid the commodity death spiral

Don’t like what’s coming out of your extruder? Better check what’s going into your feed hopper.

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Most financial business reviews are like standing around the output die, exhorting the extruder to do better. But nobody’s checking the feed hopper. It looks like an intelligent meeting, discussing gross margins, price increases and growth rates. But these were predetermined years earlier, largely by your new products, what you put into the feed hopper.

More in 2-minute video at 10. Extend your time horizon

Accelerate VOC interviews with AI (and 6 other tips)

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What if you could finish your voice-of-customer interviews in just a few weeks, not months? We’re talking about incredibly thorough qualitative and quantitative interviews. You’ll have irrefutable evidence that eliminates most commercial risk. You’ll know exactly which outcomes the market does and doesn’t want you to improve. And you’ll have it FAST. Here’s the good ... Read More

Keep a straight face if you say, “This is the most important quarter in our company’s history.”

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Of course, employees will be laughing; they’ve heard this one before. When satisfying the expectations of Wall Street analysts conflicts with building the firm’s long-term competitive strength, guess which usually wins? Any employee who’s been through travel restrictions, investment delays, hiring freezes, etc. knows the answer.

More in 2-minute video at 5. Shareholder wealth is a poor goal

Never rely on Brownian motion for change management.

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Some executives expect employees to deliver innovation-driven growth without investing in company-wide tools and skills. Either nothing changes, or employees run off changing things in random (Brownian motion) directions. Be intentional about what new behavior is needed, and take unwavering steps to drive it. Tip: Research shows that one of the strongest growth drivers is learning strong B2B voice-of-customer skills.

More in research report, www.b2bvocskills.com

Some businesses are led by Builders. Others by Decorators, Realtors or Landlords.

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Some leaders are Interior Decorators, trying to make the place look good every quarter… but not building anything. Others are Realtors. Their hearts are in buying and selling… reaping reward when the work of others’ hands changes hands. Others are Landlords, who apply themselves at work, but their hearts are elsewhere. Be a Builder if this is within you.

More in 2-minute video at 3. Be a business builder

One of the best compliments I ever heard given a business leader was, “He’s a builder.”

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If you see a business that has steadily grown over the years in size, profitability and stature… whose products have surpassed competitors’… that grinds through the hard work of delivering real customer value… that brushes aside fads, downturns and criticisms… look for the builder. If this is you, we can show you some power-tools for your next project.

More in 2-minute video at 3. Be a business builder

Own the Future with B2B Customer Insight

Avoid the 4 traps of technology prediction using jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) thinking that is informed by the voice of the customer. Image of a large door open to the future.

Today's innovation methods will look outdated in the future, with these 6 “awkward realities”: 1) We test market needs by launching products at customers. 2) We don’t understand what organic growth requires of us. 3) We misunderstand the proper role of stage-and-gate processes. 4) We interview customers to “validate” our hypothesis. 5) We fail to fully engage customers in our innovation. 6) We are easily distracted from customer-facing innovation. ... Read More

Finance for B2B Innovation: 5 Growth Stalling Sins

NPV for Innovation

Finance is the calculus of growth. Engineers, product managers, and CEOs are all guided by financial metrics to lead the business to fulfill its purpose: sustainable, profitable growth. Meanwhile, the outside world uses finance to estimate firm value and potential. Perhaps due to the breadth of stakeholders, it’s easy for a company to slip into ... Read More

Smarketing is not so Smart

Steering for organic growth

What is Smarketing? “Smarketing” is when marketing is only executed with a short-term, sales mentality. It’s the unholy melding of sales and marketing. Why is this bad? With Smarketing, the longer-term, less urgent, strategic marketing activities are pushed aside. It’s what remains when strategic marketing is absent. Strategy begins with segmentation. Click here to read ... Read More

Letting an executive focus on maximized shareholder value can have dangerous consequences.

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If a stock’s P/E ratio is 20-to-1, then only 5 percent of a firm’s value is driven by this year’s earnings. Put another way, 95 percent of shareholder value is driven by investors’ expectations of the future. Executives with rich stock options have “motive and opportunity” to manipulate these expectations… in ways that often damage the firm’s long-term health.

More in 2-minute video, 5. Shareholder wealth is a poor goal