Going for growth? Manage it through transformation.

I had the opportunity to visit a company a few weeks ago that looked certain to grow their turnover significantly in the next few years. In the current climate, most leaders of organisations would give anything to be in the same position. However it is  important to remember that there is nothing certain about growth, just think of all the hockey-stick shaped growth curves you have seen and how many actually bear fruit. Managing growth has many significant challenges and the failure to deliver will probably be far more damaging for the career of a leader than managing cost reduction.

It seems to me that there are at least 2 issues that the leaders of organisations struggle with when managing growth. Firstly, that the strengths and capabilities that got the organisation to where it is, are almostly certainly not sufficient to take them on to the next phase. There are hidden ceilings in organisations which are often hard to detect and break through.

Secondly, growth requires investment in different areas of the company and so to create the opportunity without taking on too much risk requires a definite, but flexible plan.  This plan should look to provide incremental steps that keep the opportunity and risk in alignment whilst being clear how to drive delivery across the organisation.

We are used to thinking of transformation projects that deliver significant improvement in organisations which are underperforming.  Are these growth opportunities not transformations too which need new thinking, new organisation structures and co-ordinated project management?

Andrew Kearns

Hartswood Management Ltd

Removing the roadblocks to delivering real improvement

See www.hartswoodmanagement.co.uk

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