Looking for the secret that will help you achieve ubiquitous growth in your organization? Sorry, but there isn’t one. As many companies begin to move out of the self-protective mode they’ve been operating in for several years, executives are looking for ways to maximize their company’s growth potential. Authors Graeme K. Deans and C. Robert Anderson write that the only secret they’ve uncovered in numerous interviews with executives is sound business strategy: map out a course for long-term growth for all parts of the company, from the ground up, and then execute it flawlessly.

The four-step plan they created demands that organizations lay an internal foundation long before they set their sights on external opportunities. “Growth involves the nitty-gritty, everyday blocking and tackling of execution,” they write. “It’s delivering superior customer service and low-cost products.” Laying that solid foundation involves such non-sexy activities as strategic outsourcing and incremental cost-cutting. With the baseline work done, companies can then move on to refining their organization, or structuring for success; defining specific growth opportunities in alignment with their core business; and then, finally, by stretching the organization, capabilities and products to service to achieve breakthrough growth.

Optimize magazine March 2004