Blog Category: Organic Growth

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.

More in article, Stop Stifling B2B Organic Growth with 2nd Order Effects

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Today's innovation methods will look outdated in the future, with these 6 “awkward realities”: 1) We test market needs by launching products at customers. 2) We don’t understand what organic growth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?

More in article, B2B Organic Growth: Moving to earned growth

Leaders don’t need to “motivate” employees to innovate for customers.

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Leadership is less about motivating employees to create value for customers… and more about equipping them with the tools, training, and environment for doing so. A good leader provides and clears the path for innovation. When employees gain customer-insight skills and are free to practice them, they “rise to the occasion.” Sadly, some leaders’ net impact on innovation is more negative than positive due to their short-term actions, e.g. travel bans, hiring delays and spending freezes. They would boost innovation by staying home.

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth

Here’s what you’ll never hear blamed for slow business growth (but should).

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How often have you heard this at a financial review meeting, “Well, one reason our revenue is lagging today is that crazy spending freeze we put in place last year”? If you’ve never heard this, it’s because leadership was fixated on last year’s first-order action (making the quarterly numbers), not the second-order effect (slower growth later). And they probably remain so today. If so, what does this tell us about a) our ability to learn from our mistakes, and b) our future growth prospects?

More in article, Stop Stifling B2B Organic Growth with 2nd Order Effects

Your company’s strongest products were once fragile innovations in the making.

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The wise business leader treats innovation as a seedling to be sheltered from distractions, treated with care, and prized as the very lifeblood of their company’s future. Shortsighted leaders see innovation activities as costs to be endured or manipulated for this quarter’s financial report. They chase away your best innovators, brightest ideas, and future growth. Be careful: The person you allow to lead today will determine the strength of your business tomorrow.

More in video, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth series, Video#30

In business there are no dominoes you can tip without causing others to tip

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Tipping the first domino is a first-order action, the second tipped domino is the second-order effect, and so on. Strangely, if the first order action feels satisfying all by itself, you’re probably headed for trouble with subsequent effects. So it might feel good to slash spending to hit this quarter’s numbers… but your future growth will be stymied. In fact, your slow growth today is probably the culmination of many first-order actions you’ve long since forgotten.

More in article, Stop Stifling B2B Organic Growth with 2nd Order Effects