If you don’t have a strategic plan to grow your company or if you operate without a written strategic plan, your competition has a message for you: Thank you!

A lack of planning is the number one reason growth stagnates companies, regardless of their type or size. Simply maintaining the status quo is a warning sign that tells you are overdue for rethinking your organization’s strategy for growth. More information here.

Our firm helps companies throughout the United States in many fields, from B2B Middle-Market companies, nonprofits, higher education, and many others. We’ve observed there are four problems that we hear about over and over. Identifying these problems is the place to start. This approach often requires change, not maintaining your status quo, so if you’re averse to change, you should probably stop reading this article.

Before we dive into the four problems we see time and again, let me say that a formal business plan, as it’s frequently called, is a massive amount of work to produce an airtight strategy, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, I’m talking about Building an Organizational Strategy in 90 days that will provide you with the best and right opportunity to grow your company. This approach is based on using our “Balanced Strategy Growth System,” a stripped-down prototype to test new opportunities and offerings.

If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you understand Lean Canvas for Startups that introduces the idea of creating a “minimum viable product.” We’ve enhanced this approach to help CEOs find new growth above what their organizations are producing using their status quo operations. By the way, we do not oppose continuing status quo operations if they are profitable and are being financed commensurate to their ROI.

Now the four most common problems we see repeated in companies:

1. Misaligned Organizational Strategy:

Status Quo vs. New Growth

If a company relies solely on its status quo it pretty much guarantees an eventual race to the bottom, which is one you don’t want to win. You end up chasing clients with low pricing that inevitably ensures you will produce a growth gap between where you are and where you want to go. The unfortunate consequence of this race is that you wind up attracting the lowest value clients that further widen your growth gap.

2. Too Many Strategic Initiatives In Play:

Organizational and customer research leads to integration

Researching both your company’s effectiveness and perceptions and comparing them to your clients’ perceptions is vital to creating an integration between you and your clients. We’re talking about a comparative organizational and customer assessment, not a one-sided customer satisfaction survey. Knowing what your clients think is so essential, you can’t overemphasize its importance. When your timeframe is short, and your new growth goal is high, you need to leverage the newest technology solutions such as our SmartPlan360™ Ai-Driven Software. To zero in on a few high-growth opportunities often requires nixing some old ones that have been dragging the company down.

3. Uncoordinated Market Directions:

Team awareness is critical to focus them on nothing but strategy

At first glance, it seems logical to have everyone in your organization set aside some time to develop strategies. Sounds reasonable and even attractive. Well, the fact is this approach never works out well. Think about these statistics, 70% of startups fail, and 70% of all organization transitions fail as well. So if teams that are dedicated full-time to new initiatives can’t succeed, what hope do part-timers have? New growth strategies must be the sole focus of at least one strategy leadership team. It doesn’t have to be an army, but it does have to be solely focused on strategy.

4. Difficulty Proving Relevance: 

Alignment, Integration, and Awareness working together produces high relevance

Relevance is produced when an organization’s strategy is aligned throughout the organization and with its customers. This requires a development team that will nurture the new growth strategy and shepherds the projects to drive innovation. Though status quo strategies are essential to maintain with the business’s planning and budgeting systems, new growth initiatives need a separate system by a tightly woven group to manage strategic uncertainty.

Once solutions to these four problems are found, you can focus on new growth and identify a couple of strategic opportunities to develop. Once the strategy project is underway and your strategy group provides oversight, you should conduct your first review to assess the project’s growth potential. 

As you can see, this approach requires art, science, and project tracking to create a profitable growth strategy. This will not happen by simply maintaining your status quo. For clients of ours that have embraced this approach, they have grown up to 300%! If you’re interested in learning more, click here.