Blog Category: Organic Growth

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

65 Extruder Hopper

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 article, Are You a Builder or a Decorator?

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 article, Why Maximizing Shareholder Value is a Flawed Goal (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

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 article, Are You a Builder or a Decorator?

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 article, Are You a Builder or a Decorator?

Asking an executive to 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 article, Why Maximizing Shareholder Value is a Flawed Goal (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

Is your operating plan promising faster growth than the markets you serve? Be nervous.

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Do you think your competitors also plan to exceed market growth? So, all the competing suppliers plan to grow faster than the market they serve, year… after year… after year. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that been working for you?” Maybe it’s time for a different plan. A plan built on innovation, not hope… on well-grounded skills, not blue-sky spreadsheets.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 4).

You can’t achieve profitable, sustainable growth behaving like your competitors.

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Unless your company has smarter employees, some inherent unassailable advantage, or a markedly different approach to satisfying customers… pesky competitors will always limit your growth. What if you and your competitors were all committing the same innovation errors… but you corrected them first? Good news: There is much to correct.

More in article, Seven Mistakes that Stunt Organic Growth

Your innovation needs two types of metrics: “New Product Success” and “Learning Success.”

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New Product Success is a metric for current projects. Learning Success—which measures skill-building progress—is a metric for future projects. Most companies just consider New Product Success. Worse, they only look at ultimate metrics, e.g. sales. If they also used intermediate metrics, they’d have enough time to apply what they learned from these metrics.

More in article, 3 Problems with Innovation Metrics(Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

Fixate on the only source of unlimited potential, not sources of diminishing return.

12-Diminishing-Returns

Unlike innovation, quality and productivity apply to current operations and yield diminishing returns. What do you do after you reach zero defects… or your factory is being run by the proverbial “man and a dog”? (The man feeds the dog; the dog bites the man if he touches the controls.) Customer-facing innovation is different. There is no limit. Just look at Apple Computer.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 2)

“Maximize shareholder value” is the pledge of allegiance recited in board rooms. It is a poor goal.

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This mantra guides the decisions of the business masses. But is it right? Peter Drucker didn’t think so. He said the primary purpose of a business is to acquire and keep customers. I believe increased shareholder value is a good result, but a lousy goal. You’ll have better results if your goal becomes: “Understand and meet the needs of our customers.”

More in article, Why Maximizing Shareholder Value is a Flawed Goal

Profitable, sustainable organic growth makes it fun to go to work.

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When you can count on this kind of growth, everything gets better. Employees have stable, rewarding careers… industry-watchers admire your company… investors give you a free reign.  And this irritates competitors. You have but one path to this growth: innovation that benefits your customers. How intense is your focus here? Greater than competitors’?

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 2)