Date Added: October 2013
Note: This article appeared in the October 2, 2013 issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Organizations are continually searching for innovative ways to grow. Generally, there are three ways: internal growth, external growth through strategic partnerships, and acquisitions.
Internal growth is leveraging current capabilities, markets and resources. Strategic partnerships include collaboration with others for competencies that are lacking. And acquisitions are to buy into a new market or capacities.
Recent research demonstrates that organizations using all three were up to 46 percent more likely to grow than those choosing only one of these. There are four key lessons for organizations to learn from this.
1. While choosing internal growth as a primary growth strategy, organizations should not overestimate this. There must be realistic recognition as to current strengths and capabilities; and acknowledgement of gaps.
2. Leverage strategic partnerships because these can offer flexible opportunities for learning and growth without investing a lot of dollars.
3. Acquisitions should be the third option – after exploring internal growth and strategic partnerships as acquisitions are the highest expense and most organizations are not proficient with integration.
4. Continuously re-evaluate your strategy to ensure all options are always under consideration.
Growth is not easy and organizations should initially prioritize strengths and internal resources. Relentlessly capitalize on these, while having parallel strategies for partnerships and acquisitions.
Tenacious evaluation and measurement of growth goals and strategies helps with success. The strategy must be flexible as new decisions occur throughout the year. However, most organizations only evaluate annually; and when it happens, organizations have missed the boat on making effective strategic decisions.
Roadblocks will appear – competitors, unforeseen expenses, employee and customer turnover – and modifications need to be made. Organizations must have a detailed understanding of all growth approaches, acknowledge that more than one method must be utilized, and practice patience.
With your strategy set, each choice is a major decision on the journey to ultimate success for future growth.
David Yeghiaian is committed to leading people on a life-changing journey to being great leaders. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.