All businesses want to grow. However, when a company begins to enter a phase of accelerated growth, how it did business in the past and how it must do it in the future become radically different. The difference is comparable to going from cruising around the city in a humble Toyota to racing Lamborghinis along narrow mountain roads. The deep-throated roar of a high-horsepower engine can give you the thrill of a lifetime, but it also amplifies your chances of falling off the road into an abyss of catastrophe.
Speed lets you achieve more in shorter periods, but speed also demands a higher level of control. The driver of a sports car needs to be acquainted with each bump and bend in the road and plan out every inch of the journey. The time to detect and respond to errors is slimmer, and small mistakes can carry enormous consequences. Like the driver, the most important thing a business transitioning into a period of accelerated growth must do is prepare. The quality of its preparation will determine the efficiency with which it navigates through future difficulties.
There are three ways that businesses can respond concerning growing at a rate above the industry average.
1. It can fail to take the opportunity to catapult itself ahead of competitors and let others do it. That company could be condemned to join the mediocre or obsolete businesses’ category.
2. It could be so focused on the opportunity that it fails to develop the capacity needed to take it. Resulting in a poorly managed attempt at growth that costs the company financially, damages its reputation and hurts its past successes.
3. Thirdly, the organization can recognize the opportunity and also realize its need to prepare for it. This is the most desirable scenario.
The place to begin that preparation is, as always, with people. The organization’s ability to manage is limited only by what its people know. The following are vital areas that require focused effort if the business is to maximize its potentials for accelerated growth.
– Create A Clear Vision: A company that is unable to get leaders, staff and stakeholders to agree on a future goal will not move decisively towards its objectives.
– Determine What It Takes: A SWOT analysis conducted about where the company is going rather than where it is. An understanding of what is required will uncover gaps in knowledge that might necessitate hiring new people and developing new competencies.
– Foster Collaboration Vs Competition: Results come fast when people are played against one another, but they are short-lived. Building a collaborative mindset takes time and involves more people, but it pays more over time.
– Develop A Culture of Proactive Action: Arm staff with the knowledge, confidence and tools to make decisions quickly and effectively. In the high-speed, high-stakes environment of accelerated growth, lengthy decision-making processes will harm the organization.
– Agile Communication: A culture of proactive action requires agility in data management and information sharing. Team members must have critical knowledge that will contribute to their work.
– Superior Stress Management: Individuals and teams that were succeeding in the past may begin to falter under pressure. Therefore, it is paramount that along with new challenges, there are improved methods for conflict resolution and helping individuals with difficulties.
The business graveyard is dotted with organizations that failed to make or manage their transition from average success to rapid growth. Your business does not have to be one of them. The difference between success and failure lies in the insight of business leaders, not luck!
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