With innovation taking over each aspect of the business, growth is what most organizations today strive for. But the definition of growth remains personal to each company, team and individual.
However, one question which is relevant for each one of them in the rapidly changing business environment is- are they growing sustainably?
In this VUCA world, corporations have to be continuously investing in and organizing around sustainable and inclusive business activities to achieve growth. And to ensure sustainable growth, the business leaders should have an eye for spotting the megatrends and also have the ability to leverage these external trends to their own benefit. These capabilities have to be coupled with a culture of growth that drives the entire business and each of its employee towards a better tomorrow.
Let’s take a look at some of the elements that constitute growth:
Breaking down the elements of growth
Every business has to scale. Scaling is the mantra. If an organization wants to establish itself as a demonstrable leader, it doesn’t matter whether you are a niche service provider or an entrepreneur, you have to have be scalable. Scalability is what ensures a businesses’ competitive advantage as it demonstrates whether a company’s adaptable to the changing needs or demands of its users/clients or not.
With the advent of automation, building future readiness in the leaders is imperative. As elements like blockchain, data sciences are emerging and infiltrating every industry and functions of business, how are we preparing our leaders to work with and around these new trends has to be the key focus. The more aware the leaders are, the more relevant their approach, ideas and solutions would be. And with the rapidly changing world of work, being relevant at every point in time is essential.
Sustaining and enhancing profitability
At the end of the day, the potential of the organization to earn profits is what keeps it going. And if as an organization you are scalable and future ready, your ability to handle the influx of demand, increased productivity, anticipating trends, changing needs and even presence or introduction of new competitors gets enhanced. This ability ensures that the organizations and the businesses grow not just in terms of numbers, size and capabilities but also revenue. If not grow, then at least they must be able to sustain the profitability or else they can be easily challenged by their competition. So the important question is- how do business leaders deal with cost and price pressures and sustain their profitability?
Lastly, growth has to be the way of life. The growth mindset has to be embedded in the culture of the organization and be part of the journey of each and every employee. When growth mindset is established as a norm in the organization through communication, action, policies and programs, the overall development of the company is subsequently taken care of.
While each of these aspects of growth is critical, how do leaders and managers drive and ensure the existence of them is often the challenge. So, how can organizations become scalable, how can they make their leaders future ready and how can they institutionalize the growth mindset in their company, are some of the important questions to be answered.
Here are a few ways in which organizations can drive growth in their organizations:
Formulas for driving business growth
Growth is a Team sport
Growth is often regarded as a prerogative of marketing, sales or the innovation team. And this false notion becomes the obstacle in a company’s growth. Top leaders have to instill the thought and the emotion that growth is a team sport and each and every individual across hierarchy and functions is responsible to take the organization ahead.
The philosophy that growth is a team sport is what will drive an organization’s success.
Redefine growth as not trying hard enough
Each employee has to take the responsibility of their own growth in their own hands. They have to ensure that their performance conversations are not only restricted to targets or goals achieved. The stretched goals and aspirations of each individual further add on to the ultimate goal of the organization, thus stretching the entire organization’s goal.
Ambition should be 2x or 3x of the resources
The different relationship between ambition and resource is what separates a manager from an entrepreneur. While for a manager the equation is always less than or equal to the resource, an entrepreneur will always have an ambition which is 2x or 3x of the available resources This entrepreneurial attitude is what will take individuals and companies forward towards sustainable growth.
(The article is based on the panel discussion- ‘Optimizing for Growth - The CEOs' Perspective’ held at People Matters TechHR18. Leaders like Deepak Iyer, Managing Director, Mondelez India Foods; Mukul Jain, Founder and CEO, HONO; Sushma Rajagopalan, MD & CEO, ITC Infotech were part of the panel which was chaired by Ester Martinez, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, People Matters Media)