According to a McKinsey article, ‘Choosing the right path to Growth’, published in October 2018, there are three types of organisations that have different approaches to Growth; Investors, Creators and Performers.
- ‘Investor’ organisations look for new sources of funding or reallocate funds, to spur growth for existing goods and services.
- ‘Creators’ build new products or change their business models to deliver innovations.
- ‘Performers’ optimise their organisations to improve margins or service.
Common sense or experience says the research is sound, but something is lacking.
Each method has significant merits, and if two or more are combined, then the Growth impacts are substantial. The key to success, or the aspect that is lacking, is making the hypothesis, or the strategy paper, a reality. That’s where you need a Growth Partner, who has capability and experience across the three focus areas. You need a Partner who combines the approaches in their DNA and helps every client grow in their unique manner. And you need a Growth Partner who understands that by servicing their client’s growth they, in turn, will grow.
From an ‘Investor’ perspective, the focus is usually on ‘existing’ or mature offerings. Market penetration and product efficiency are phrases codified in Board Room business plans, but they usually mean ‘this worked before’ so how do we ‘sweat the asset’. These are not generally terms associated with significant upticks in Growth.
In a mature market, the power to differentiate is at the Brand level; having a clear understanding of what you stand for, the client problem you solve, how you exist to service the needs of clients, how you offer extraordinary value for time and money, and how you communicate that to your clients and your organisation. If Branding is clear, you solve a client problem, and you do it at a price point that aligns to the value offered, then history says that you will generate market share and revenue. The clarity on the brand also helps attract additional investment.
Taking the clarity of the brand to the next level will drive dynamic change in a ‘creator’ organisation. A real sense of purpose or an understanding of the organisation’s mission encourages new and positive thinking. Human beings love the community and being part of something greater than themselves. If you have creatives in your organisation, then the focus on the investment in brand work will encourage innovation. If not, then you need to work with a Partner who has creativity in its DNA and has a passion for taking brands to the next level. Creativity is not just abstract or new thinking; it’s about having the ability to ‘join the dots’, to understand a client’s purpose, and then turn bold ideas into a reality through artistic passion. The ‘artistic passion’ does not start and end with the colour palette or font of a campaign but permeates through the approach to everything from content to the technology solutions created.
‘Performer’ organisations are typically associated with cutting costs, a sad reflection of the MBA-type approach to business, where ‘deconstructing costs’ and making ‘efficiency gains’ became easier ways of saying ‘job losses’. This oversimplification is unfortunate as ‘optimising’ an organisation is crucial to its ongoing success or growth. Optimisation requires an ‘investor’ mentality, coupled with a ‘creative’ vision for the future of an organisation, which in turn leads to the initiatives required to optimise an organisation. Making this leap of faith, where every facet is interconnected, often requires the help of an external Partner, and it helps when that Partner understands every step of the Growth journey. That’s why GrowthOps exists and why we are a Growth Partner rather than just a strategy organisation.