Your market is growing at 3% and your operating plan says you’ll grow faster than this next year. Of course, your competitors have similar plans… meaning everyone plans to grow faster than the market served. As TV psychologist Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that been working for you?” Could it be time for a different approach… e.g. understanding customer needs far better than competitors?
More in Leader’s Guide Videos Lesson 1, Recognize your growth challenge
Long ago, clever employees at your company developed industry-leading products. Most of your growth and profits today probably come from these sturdy product platforms. Don’t count on inherited growth continuing: Every year, purchasing agents and competitors are working diligently to commoditize your specialty products. Glad I could cheer you up on this.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 14).
If you focus on unimportant outcomes, customers will greet your new product with a collective yawn. If you satisfy outcomes competitors already meet, customers will greet you with a phone call requesting lower prices. How long will this take them? Depends if they have you on speed dial.
More in article, Your Best Path to Profitable, Sustainable Organic Growth
Some companies rely on a handful of internal VOC (voice-of-customer) experts to interview customers. You’ll do far better if you train a critical mass of employees—who routinely interact with customers anyway—to gather customer needs. Keep your VOC experts as coaches and trainers, but implement “VOC for the masses.”
More in executive briefing, Seven Mistakes that Stunt Organic Growth
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)
In the 1970’s, Detroit automakers didn’t realize they were in a battle for quality… but Toyota did. Do you know if your company is in a battle for innovation? One way to find out is to wait until a competitor upends your market with a blockbuster. Another is to start building innovation capabilities first.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 3)