Agile Insights Blog

3 min read

A Prescription for Business Growth

May 5, 2015 3:36:01 PM

A Bain Consulting study of large companies in eight countries found that 7 out of 8 companies failed to achieve profitable growth. Challenges in developing and executing effective growth strategies have reached plague proportions.

Do you possess the following risk factors?

  • □ You are responsible for the financial well-being of an organization.
  • □ You are responsible for making or approving strategic decisions.
  • □ You are accountable for reaching significant growth goals.

Consider if you have experienced one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Status-quo-itis. (See also: inertia) Implementing the same old strategy again and again but expecting different results this time around.
  • Tunnel vision. Specifically, the kind that makes you blind to what the competition is doing.
  • Strategic hives. When challenges or opportunities break out, committees are quickly formed and plans are created to scratch the itch, but each time feels new – there’s not a repeatable process to increase efficacy.
  • False confidence. Self-assurance based on presumptions about what customers want. The first signs of this start with the words “I think….�? Examples include:
    • □ “I think this is where we should invest…�?
    • □ “I think this is why customers are choosing our competitor…�?
  • Analysis paralysis. So, so much beautiful data, but what does it all mean? You hesitate to do anything because you feel like you don’t have enough data to make the case for change.
  • Trouble sleeping due to general anxiety about reaching your goals. Insomnia caused by imagining worst-case scenarios about what could happen if you do act and you get it wrong.
  • Lack of focus. (See also: changing priorities and half-baked action plans) Wasting time and resources by constantly shifting priorities and having to backtrack.
  • Insulated thinking. Failure to take into account how market changes might impact your customers or your business until they blindside you.
  • Fanning the wrong fire. Devoting time and attention on initiatives with limited ROI.
  • Fragmentation. Everyone’s doing their own thing. Individual departments have their own strategies, and there’s an overall lack of collaboration and coordination.
  • Constipated strategic plans. Lots of work goes into creating lengthy and thorough plans, but nothing ever happens. They end up collecting dust on a shelf.
  • A great, big hairy strategy. Trying to tackle all your products, all your customers, and all your competitors with one super-strategy.


Let customer insights drive your growth strategy. Repeat as needed until growth goals are achieved.

Unfortunately, there’s not a magic pill. But the good news is that your competition has the same symptoms. Your challenge is to find the cure before them.

Growth and competitive advantage are about effective positioning. You need to be able to visualize your market landscape through the eyes of your customers and understand how purchasing decisions are made. Financial success comes when more customers are choosing you. When customer insights drive your strategy and your organization is aligned around the customer, the path to growth is clear.

Warning: Possible side effects may include (but are not limited to) sales revenue growth, team collaboration and alignment around customer-focused strategies, clarity of thinking and increased confidence, reduced anxiety and better sleep, promotions and accolades due to exceeding growth goals, and work satisfaction.

Learn more about the treatment plan here: Overcoming Decision Overload in Growth Strategy

Topics: General

Written by Vennli

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