Jim Donovan post today highlighted the worlds top 50 business thinkers. The thing that struck me about this list is how many of the folks there are responsible for creating the theory of business growth, or for delivering it. Why do they get this acknowledgement and respect? To me, its because these people do the hard stuff.
Growth is far harder to achieve than most of us are willing to accept. There is a bunch of research that highlights that the perennial growth story for any company is fiction. For example, Creative Destruction by Forster & Kaplan highlights that most companies not only fail to grow, but only a small percentage (16%) actually survive !
Stop and think about that…. for 84% of you out there working. You are in companies that are dead men walking.
Got me thinking about my own experience. You might have noticed, I’m a growth guy, I’ve even been called ‘Mr Disruption’ by some folks. Others think of me as a destroyer of value, god knows what they call me.
What I do is hard, I’m constantly fighting the machine to get things done.
There is an almost religious battle going on. When I talk about disruptive innovation , the incumbent minded folks hear creative destruction. I look forward and see opportunity, they look backwards and try to pinpoint the death knell (like the internet). Ultimately I advocate that we need to grow, they counter it saying we need to cut costs.
Heads up people. Cutting costs is the easy thing to do, giving a considered ‘no’ to new opportunity is simpler than taking it on.
Well here’s the rub, look at the stats from Foster and Kaplan (there are more**). If you are focusing on doing the easy stuff, something else becomes easy. Predicting the future of your company.
** Profit from the Core, Zook and Allen.
Blue Ocean Strategy, Kim and Mauborgne;
Good to Great, Collins