Why is it that some small to medium sized companies grow at a dramatically faster pace than their competitors? How do certain companies that compete in very mature markets occasionally experience explosive growth rates? I suggest that is has a lot to do with the mindset of the company Chief Executive Officer.
Great Organizations Encourage Both
Continuous Improvement & Breakthrough Thinking
Often, CEOs of small to medium sized organizations find themselves intimately involved in the daily details of running the business. As a result of the dominance of this “internal perspective”, business planning is usually limited to improving efficiencies, cost reductions, and sales training programs.
But how long can this continuous improvement business model provide satisfactory results? Despite its merits, most businesses cannot survive in the long run by just doing the same things better. I have not yet found a company that “saved its way into prosperity”.
Great organizations can usually point to one, or several, moments in their history that a period of exceptional growth resulted from a strategic breakthrough. Ironically, sometimes this growth is set in motion by a decision to initially shrink the company (e.g. discard losing product lines to focus resources on more profitable business). Regardless of its nature, breakthrough thinking depends on a business leader that can adopt an “external perspective”, devoting more time to working on the business instead of just in the business.
During planning sessions, breakthrough thinking CEOs often ask questions like, “What could we do to triple our profits next year?”, or “How could we double revenues over the next 3 years?”. These questions usually start “out of the box” discussions that yield breakthrough results.