Blog Category: Organic Growth

Have you separated your earned growth from your unearned growth?

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There are two types of unearned growth: 1) Inherited Growth comes from great products your employees created long ago, and 2) Market Growth is driven by your customers’ growth. You influence neither today. Earned Growth occurs when you surpass competitors in meeting customer needs. Normal accounting doesn’t separate earned from unearned, but you should. You may be living on borrowed time, when you should be the master of your own destiny.

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Consider rat tails and the danger of ignoring second-order effects.

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In the early 1900’s the French colonial government tried to decrease the Hanoi rat population by rewarding bounties on each rat tail turned in. The second-order effects were 1) lots of tail-less rats roaming the streets, and 2) rat-breeding farms for tail harvesting. When your business leaders slash R&D spending, invoke travel bans, cut marketing staff, and delay hiring… what second-order effects will come as a result? Perhaps slower future growth? Rats.

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It’s Time for New Innovation Metrics

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You’ve heard, “measure twice, cut once,” right? When it comes to market-facing innovation, most companies only measure after they’ve cut. They use the vitality index—a fine innovation metric developed by 3M in 1988 that’s simple to understand: percentage of gross revenue generated from products launched in the past three (or five) years. But if this ... Read More

Why you shouldn’t hope for great financial results this quarter.

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A large, unexpected revenue upturn this quarter feels good, right? But the satisfaction is fleeting. What you need is growth that is unrelenting, earned and reliable. If your growth is serendipitous—not the result of superior growth capabilities—you’re just setting yourself up for problems in 12 months. That’s when you’ll be held accountable for year-over-year results. Then you’ll be expected to repeat last year’s revenue windfall and then some.

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Beware 8 first-order actions that can stymie your future growth.

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A good business leader understands that every decision will have second-order effects after the initial “intended consequence.” Slower future growth is the second-order effect that often follows these decisions: 1) severe spending cuts, 2) rapid re-organizations, 3) hiring freezes, 4) travel bans, 5) R&D staffing cuts, 6) marketing staffing cuts, 7) new initiatives that distract, and 8) excessive M&A activities. Some such decisions may be needed… but consider the second-order impact on your growth.

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B2B Growth: Research on how to accelerate it

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No one likes to be average—another word for mediocre—in something as important as growing their business. Of course, half of all businesses are below average in any given year. And few in the above-average ranks for B2B growth are confident they can stay there year after year. This can change for your business. You can ... Read More

Business Leaders: Are you building your growth capabilities?

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It may seem counterintuitive, but many business leaders focus too much on business results. Wise leaders balance the pursuit of results with capabilities. Can you name any endeavor—rock-climbing, martial arts, chess—where champions didn’t first build their capabilities? Their victories (results) came later. When you see a leader fixated on quarterly results, picture an amateur climber at the base of El Capitan. He has the wrong shoes, no climbing skills and flabby abs… in other words, no capabilities. But boy oh boy, is he ever eager to climb. Yes, he wants results.

More in video, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth series, Video Lesson #9

 

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

Never treat organic growth as a “new initiative.”

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I hear this all the time: “We just finished trimming our costs, and now it’s time to grow.” Another variation: “Our last CEO focused on operational efficiency, but our new CEO wants growth.” This is nuts. If you run a business, B2B organic growth isn’t an initiative. It’s your job. All the time. Profitable, sustainable organic growth is the only way to ensure your company’s value keeps rising and your employees can count on stable employment. Who wins a race by wandering on and off the track?

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