5 Strategic Shifts To Drive Growth In 2015

Do you find yourself frustrated trying to uncover what went wrong with your growth strategy in 2014?
Has a recent acquisition failed to deliver the growth you expected?

Perhaps you’re getting ready to make another investment and you want to be sure you position the company to capitalize on growth opportunity?

It’s these questions that litter conference room whiteboards with discussion and debate as companies of all sizes begin planning for next year.  If this describes your organization, you’re not alone!

Below are 5 strategic shifts worthy of more exploration across teams and organizations:

Move The Spotlight From The Competition To The Customer 

Too often, our energies get easily consumed in beating the competition instead of building value for the customer.  In order to deliver real long-term value [more, new or better], challenge your team to go deep in understanding your customer segments, unmet needs and areas for delivering a better experience with your product or service.  This shift in mindset leads to new insights in both your market space and your customer segments that will illuminate incredible potential for new value.  All great strategies were devised as a result of a new discovery.

Sharpen Your Value Proposition

There are gaps in the marketplace, as defined by your customers, and your charge is to uncover them and design a proposition that plugs the hole.  The value you add is an intersection and the world wants to meet you there.  The intersection is where your unique strengths collide with the unique needs of those you serve.

  • What unique strengths does your organization possess that meet the unique needs of those you serve?
  • Are your strengths divergent from your competition?

Describe how the value you add will impact your customer when done right.  Describe how the customer will feel and act, how your goods or services might change them for the better and how you envision them sharing their experience with your product or service.

The tablet that can replace your laptop – The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is not aimed at winning market share in the tablet market (that may be a future outcome), instead, Microsoft seeks to source its growth from the laptop market.  When the original Surface Pro was launched a few years ago, it was quickly lumped into a growing tablet market with Apple and Samsung and did not possess a distinct value proposition or sharp messaging to win in the right market.  The recent launch of Surface Pro 3 brings a much sharper value proposition to the marketplace, and consequently, the sales have been much stronger.

Build People First

While you’re focused on growing the numbers, don’t forget to grow your people.  In the April 2014 edition of Harvard Business Review (if you’re a subscriber), you can read Making Business Personal, where the authors share their search for the deliberately developmental organization – which essentially is an “organization that is committed to developing every one of their people by weaving personal growth into daily work”. After searching the globe, they found only 20 companies.  Ultimately, one conclusion is that “professional and personal growth in organizations are interdependent”.

Innovate To Resonate

Lack of innovation, if not addressed, can have a significant impact on the long-term of health of your business, leading to painful and debilitating periods of customer defect and flat-to-no sales growth.  If you want to matter to your customer now and in the future, you need to be bringing insight-led products, services and experiences to market.  According to a popular study, 61% of companies cite innovation as a major focus within their businesses, yet 55% don’t seek out innovation opportunities and an astounding 66% do not have well defined innovation strategies.  Taken further, 5-year compounded growth rates of innovative companies is 84% as compared to 28% of all the rest.

Instill Focus In Your Portfolio

Companies that market several brands or services can easily fall in the trap of being wide and shallow. As recent as the back half of 2014, we’ve seen the likes of GE, Procter & Gamble and IBM sell non-core brands or businesses to allow a re-focus on fewer, bigger, faster growing segments.  Even in smaller organizations, it’s common to see product development and marketing budget dollars spread evenly across brands.  Based on research and analysis, companies should be placing bets on fewer areas for growth where they can shift investment.

The opportunity is now for you and your team to emerge from the conference room whiteboard session with a clear picture of what strategic growth shifts need to occur in 2015.

Which of the 5 shifts has the potential to release new growth for your organization in the coming year?

I would love to hear from you.….drop me a note below in the comments stream – which of the 5 shifts resonates most for your business?  What steps will you take to begin making the shift happen?  If you’re looking to partner with a strategist or advisor to help you shift in 2015, let’s chat.

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Founder Todd Garreston

With over 15 years of experience leading market share growth initiatives of top consumer brands in Fortune 500 and privately-held business environments, Todd Garretson advises and helps organizations identify new growth potential, craft strategy that moves people to action and enhance overall performance.

Having a passion for helping people and organizations to unlock dormant growth potential, Todd writes and speaks for audiences in three core areas: business growth strategy, leadership and personal / professional growth.

Residing in Atlanta, GA with his wife, Lauri, and their four children, weekends and free time are spent with family, coaching youth sports, and sharing his passion for fitness and nutrition.