At Falak we have had over 20 meetings in the last week. Some of those meetings were with existing clients, others were with clients we would like to work with. All these meetings obviously have fixed agendas, but we also like to use these meetings to gain insight and formulate opinions about markets and an overview of market trends. In the recent past, our conversations with them have highlighted a common theme – a theme of dismay at the economic conditions. This includes fear of uncertainty, lack of confidence in markets, anxiety about structural changes. Yet, what really caught our attention was the consistent response of disbelief in growth opportunities.
Now of course, the last few years have seen some challenges in all these regards and I totally understand where this emotion stems from. However, I am always amazed that this feeling of disbelief in growth opportunities never creeps in to the culture we have at Falak. No matter how dire the situation in the market, we are always looking for ways to do new ventures, try new services and grow. I was wondering why this is true and started to research on it. Here is what I found out – The world is full of growth champions that have thrived in a stagnant market. What makes these companies different? What do they do that others don’t?
McKinsey conducted a comprehensive research on growth of the large companies and they found that on an average companies grew about 8.7% a year. Of which, 5.4% was from growth of own portfolio momentum. This means that about 90% of the companies grew organically. It is indeed that the research found that a strong competitive advantage, innovative business models and obsessing on customer needs are key to growth. However, the study also found that companies with a passionate growth mind-set had a significant advantage. What does this mind-set mean? It is a deep-rooted belief in all across the company, from a well positioned business model that comprises of competence and resources to deliver above industry growth.
How does one cultivate this mind-set? And how does one ensure it permeates across the company and lead to actionable strategy? Here is a few things these companies do that helps with this attitude:
Constantly improving the business model – Intensely focusing on building and expanding the customer base, continuously enhancing the value proposition and launching newer products. It is a belief that breaks away from a “fixed pie’ concept of industries which considers market as finite and a very little flexibility range in growing that market. These companies defy the notion of saturated markets or mature markets.
Living by a purpose that is inspirational – These growth minded companies tend to inspire both customers as well as team members with a single minded focus on a purpose that is compelling. They make is clear that they stand for something higher than profit and individual needs. This purpose is not only articulated well, but also lived on a daily basis by making it a part of decision making and discussions.
Cultivating leaders that are story tellers – The ability to invest in leaders that are not just technically sound, but also have the ability to inspire others to unleash the “never say die” attitude acts as a big catalyst for growth. These leaders tend to be story tellers that are able to bring to life a passion for winning and great explanation for the “why”.
Creating a team that is full of the entrepreneurial spirit – The spirit of a start up is that of ideas coming from anywhere and anyone. Everyone feels heard and feels like they have contributed. All members of the team are open to take risks. In fact they feel it is their job to take risks. It is hard to continue to fuel this spirit in larger organizations. However, the growth mindset demands it. It demands a culture that is vibrant and infectious. It is culture that encourages everyone in the company to fight to win in a market.
The need to focus on a mind-set that is focused on growth is as important for business as having a sound growth strategy. It is what makes the strategy actionable and alive. In this market of uncertainty, this growth focused attitude provides you with an edge that can propel you into being a growth champion.