Organizations in general have a desire to grow and usually seek to do so with an expectation to find a trajectory that is uninterrupted. They all also realize over time that growth is not simple; Multiple factors generally impacting them ranging from: the size of the organization, the availability of resources, the skills of its workforce and the product or services offered to name a few. Based on these factors the approach an organization might take could vary and this approach will also vary between one organization and another even in the same space.
Growth strategies fall into one of the following categories;
- Market Penetration
- Geographical expansion
- New product development
- Vertical integration
- Disruptive innovation
- Strategic alliances
- Mergers & Acquisitions
We will spend the coming months discussing these various approaches; however while we prepare for the same it is important to note that if you are part of an organization that is planning to grow, the first thing you need to do is to brace yourself for a bumpy ride as this transition is not an easy one. Everything that works for the current business need not apply to the new opportunity being sought out. This is one of the many reasons organizations fail while trying to grow.
The most common pitfall you ask; it is usually their existing business model especially when it is a successful one. Assuming what works today will continue to work in the future is one of the biggest fallacies organizations fall prey to as they continue to throw good money after bad. Consider FloTV, does that ring a bell? No? Well I am not surprised because it was a business model from QUALCOMM that failed (A good example of where the value proposition did not really address specific customer needs). Another one that is probably more close to your heart and familiar is the story of Kodak (think about Kodak and their fall, we’ll certainly come back to them).
If you have not pieced it together yet, yes the path to organizational growth is strewn with failures and it is important to discuss both so that we can try and learn through the mistakes of others. Just keep in mind even successful companies like Apple had a Newton or two on their path to creating the I revolution.
Over and out, Raj