Have you ever wondered what exactly occurred within an organization that reversed a downward slide and regained a growth trajectory? I was curious about the elements of a dramatic performance turnaround because it seemed to me that the same formula could be applied to a healthy enterprise to achieve accelerated growth.
From my research and own experience in fast growth companies, I’ve identified the common themes that drive performance improvement and growth. Put these 4 elements in your toolkit and you will create a formidable competitive advantage:
- Market Viability
- Future State Clarity
- Talent Overhaul
- Execution Framework
Market Viability – Validate that your business model is relevant and your product(s) have a marketplace. Don’t skip this step and assume all is good. You have to get out of the “forest” which is your business and look at the landscape in a new way. Talk to customers and competitors. Gather marketplace intelligence. Let’s face it, markets shift and products have a shelf life. Be honest about this evaluation.
Future State Clarity – Where do you want to see the business in 3 years? Defining this future state creates focus and purpose. Where is your marketplace going to be in 3 years and do you want to be there, ready to capture share? This is a fundamental exercise a senior team should not skip. Otherwise, your tactical actions and investments will be squandered.
Talent Overhaul – Talent density is fluid. In other words, the same skills your business required a year ago may not be what is needed next year. This is particularly true if you are in a growth business and trying to sustain that growth. Assess your talent (both leaders and experts) in light of strategic priorities. The minute you sign up for a strategic initiative, take a look at the talent part of the equation. Who will execute?? Unfortunately, too many companies assume the right people are already in residency. This is a dangerous assumption.
Execution Framework – This is the biggest opportunity for most leadership teams. Get this right and you will dramatically increase your odds of success. Essential elements of the framework:
- Strategy Ownership
- Execution team make-up – the right experts
- Dashboards with metrics and milestones
- Frequent review of execution progress and course correction protocol
- Consequences – for success and failure
Adopt these organizational disciplines and a business turnaround and accelerated growth is within your grasp.