There are three basic ways to run a business that is a “going concern”– well, actually four – and any of them might be right for your organization. These are so fundamentally different in terms of growth, however, that the Leadership Team needs to be aligned before going any further in this process.
- True Innovation or Revolutionary “Growth” (Startup)
- Fast Growth or Maximize EBITDA in Prep for Transition / Exit
- Incremental or “Steady” State Growth
- Turnaround / Save the business
AJC’s methodology works best in situations 2 or 3: Fast or Incremental growth. True innovation is often smaller in scale or looking for a blue ocean; and while our processes could be used here, it is possible that the pace or shifts involved in true innovation may not benefit from our methodical approach. Also, startup growth is often too chaotic with too few structures that our methodology is not as valuable as it is when there is departmental complexity and more employees to support.
The difference between Fast or Incremental growth will primarily be the pace and volume of initiative execution or implementation; faster pace and higher volume often requires more financial resources to hire or outsource work that cannot be done quickly by the current team. Fast Growth also requires that virtually EVERYONE at the company be on the same page. You can’t move fast when you’re constantly trying to convince people to come along for the ride.
Fast Growth requires that virtually EVERYONE at the company be on the same page.
Incremental Growth, on the other hand, allows even skeptics to come along at their own pace. In fact, an Incremental Growth strategy including creating consistency, reliability, and predictability in an organization is one of THE BEST ways to grow trust and confidence in the team. It may very well position a company for later Fast Growth!
An Incremental Growth strategy including creating consistency, reliability, and predictability in an organization is one of THE BEST ways to grow trust and confidence in the team.
For the final situation, Turnaround or saving a business on the brink of closure, again the processes can be used, though the additional nuances around financial restructuring will likely necessitate an consultant or leader who is adept in this type of high stakes environment, and AJC is not the best fit.
The decision for what type of growth is best for the organization will have to come from the Owner or Board, or possibly will be delegated to the CEO. If the CEO has a “Wonder” or “Invention” genius, this person is more likely to choose a Truly Innovative or Fast Growth style though may still opt for Incremental Growth. Leaders with the Enablement or Tenacity (or both!) geniuses are more likely to choose Incremental growth. Discerners and/or Galvanizers could go either way as there are great paths forward regardless of which option is chosen. The most important thing would be to have one other person who has the Discernment genius help to make sure the decision is sound.
Read the previous article in our AJC Playbook Series: Do you have the Right People in the Right Seats (at least mostly)?
Read the next article in our AJC Playbook Series: How to Define Mission and Vision?