We had the privilege to conduct vivid discussions around the topic “Competing for the future and making growth happen” with CEOs from leading companies in our yearly Management Forum in January. The key take-out from these discussions was, that focus and people & culture are key for successful growth strategy execution.
Easier said than done. How can a company ensure focus on the most important must-wins and create a strong winner mind-set to gear up for growth? Here is some food for thought on this question with concrete examples and articles by our experts.
Focus is about a clear vision and persistent execution of activities that lead towards the vision. Many companies lack an inspiring vision on their role in the new, connected reality and in the future ecosystem. An overly aspirational vision, or transformational purpose, creates clarity and energizes the whole organization and customers alike.
Fazer Group is a good example of a company, that has defined its transformational purpose to gear up for future growth. Read more about Fazers New Growth Logic »
A vision without focus on must-wins is like conquering a mountain without any plan, team or gear. Growth will not happen. The most common must-wins we see today, are customer-centricity, growth in services and digitalization. These need clarification to be effective.
Growth in services is the clearest one, very much enabled by digitalization and the surge of data. The winner owns the data and knows how to utilize it to create customer value. Growth in services also requires an understanding of the customer journey and creation of new service concepts & service models that alleviate customer pain-points and create customer value.
Customer-centricity and digitalization are much more diffuse must-wins. For example, when you talk about digitalization, what is your focus on future customer behavior and journeys, your digital product & service offering and new business models, digitized operations & processes and digital platforms, data & analytics? All these areas need to be addressed, if digitalization is one of your must-wins.
Read how Paroc commercialized a new, horizontal solution for industrial paneling across five different markets by understanding the digital customer journey and generating leads through digital channels » (Link leads to the site of our Partner company, P+SBD.)
How about customer-centricity? What does it mean in your business context? Is it about customer data and human insights; putting the customer first in everything you do; creating value-adding offerings and service models; having a superior service culture… or is it something else? You need to be clear to win this battle.
Customer-centricity leads us inevitably to the other critical issue in successful growth strategy execution, i.e people & culture.
Create a strong winner mind-set
What is your organizations way of thought? Do you prepare for and expect success or do you settle for less? Are you the agile, inspiring partner that renovates the current business and innovates new to accelerate growth or are you the trusted partner that does not rock the boat but does not create a substantial leap forward either?
Once you have a clear vision for the future and an inspiring transformational purpose, your execution capabilities are key. Most probably you will build required capabilities and competitive advantages in-house as well as acquire key capabilities through M&As. Either way, focus on building a winner mind-set culture is crucial.
In M&A integrations, it needs to be born in mind, that people often identify themselves with the company brand and culture, so the transition to a new brand requires that the new brand is meaningful to new employees and customers. This often requires a repositioning of the company brand to inspire and be meaningfully different to each stakeholder.
Well then, you have a clear vision for the future, a view on the capabilities you need to build as well as a great strategy for organic and inorganic growth. Your businesses have crafted action plans and key metrics for the must-win-battles and a follow-up system is in place. Your management team and board is excited and you have yet accomplished a successful strategy round… and this is where the work begins…
Strategy communication is often an issue, but engagement is even more crucial. Many companies fail to execute because they fail to engage. It is about winning the hearts and minds of your employees, customers and key stakeholders and ensuring that you have the support and hands to execute. You are not only leading the company, but you are leading the people and the culture. In today´s world of information overload and fight for mind space, effective execution requires that you communicate your strategy continuously and consistently and that you engage with a compelling story and inspiring visuals.
Please find some examples of strategy communication and engagement:
YIT strategy communications » (Link leads to our Partner company Okimo Clinic’s blog)
Hanken School of Economics strategy and change management » (Okimo Clinic blog)
The inspiring discussions and rigorous work on strategy with our Clients have resulted in some key learnings on successful growth strategy execution:
- Drive growth and cultural change with an inspiring transformational purpose
- Encompass customer and human insight into your strategy process
- Prepare for success and clarify your must-wins, key actions and metrics for a winner mind-set culture
- Ensure that you are meaningfully different and compelling
- Engage with your stakeholders to execute
We hope you had enjoyable moments with our thoughts on strategy execution and we look forward to continuing the discussion and working with you!
“In a fast-paced new reality,
our purpose is to invent and create businesses,
services and brands that have a positive impact
on people’s everyday life.
We combine strategy, technology,
human insight and creativity to
accelerate growth for our Clients.”
– Marketing Clinic Partners