Growth-Minded Companies Soar
COVID-19 fundamentally changed corporate America and challenged long-standing business models. Leaders and workers had to navigate unchartered waters and if they were going to survive, had to find creative ways to work and operate while restrictions were in place. Unfortunately, not all companies were able to successfully maneuver through these uncertain times and drive growth. However, those that did are winning big and have built a culture of resilience that sets them apart.
The difference between success and failure during and after the pandemic for most businesses hinged on the ability to quickly drive focus and prioritize resources on the elements that mattered and would move the business forward. For example, stores that prioritized building their eCommerce footprint came out ahead of those that stood idle, waiting for restrictions to be lifted.
Using a growth strategy template document can help drive the needed focus and alignment across the organization to achieve both short and long-term goals. However, before diving in, there are two major areas teams need to think through when shaping their growth strategy template:
- Core team and key stakeholders needed for organizational buy-in
- Content and inputs needed to drive alignment
Growth Strategy Template: Core Team and Stakeholders
Identifying the right team members to help with the development of a growth strategy template document is an important first step.
- The core team is responsible for outlining key questions, options and prioritization of growth strategy alternatives. As a result, the core team is often comprised of a cross-functional group that can provide well-rounded strategic perspective on their area of expertise.
- Key stakeholders and sponsors not only champion the development of a growth strategy but also contribute critical input and/or approve the final recommendations. While they might not be engaged in the day-to-day development, they are key to securing organizational buy-in and often include senior leaders, such as the CEO.
It is important to think through this step and secure organizational buy-in on who should be involved, as this will increase the chances of adoption and reinforce accountability across the organization.
Growth Strategy Template: Content and Inputs Needed
From a content standpoint, there three critical elements to think through
|Area||Key Questions to Ask|
|Time horizon for overall growth strategy and goals||Is this a 5- or 10-year strategy?How much time do we have to achieve our goals, and what are critical milestones we need to hit along the way?How are we going to measure success? Are the goals realistic given the time horizon?What data inputs can we leverage to confirm goals are realistic and achievable?|
|Business case for prioritized growth strategies||What is the rationale for prioritizing each growth strategy? e.g., growth revenue potential, competitive advantage, strategic fit, etc. What are supporting data points to justify prioritization and/or ROI expectations?|
|Team accountable for growth strategy and next steps||What team will be accountable for further defining action steps?What investments/resources are needed to achieve and/or accelerate ability to reach goals?|
For all of these areas, it’s important to objectively vet alternatives and leverage data to drive alignment on prioritization, goals and investments needed. Hard facts show rigor and are difficult to argue against when different perspectives exist among team members, thus any critical data gaps/inputs needed to make decisions should be identified and aligned-to upfront.