Debunking Four Myths of Organic Growth

New analysis reveals corporate blind spots when it comes to driving growth.

Reinventing Reinvention: Choosing the Continuous ‘Wise Pivot’ Over One-Time Transformation

research revealed seven new strategies that trapped value releasers mastered as part of their Wise Pivot, allowing them to generate sustainable growth today while building capabilities necessary to leverage the momentum into a future where the only certainty is continued disruption:

  1. Technology Propelled. Mastering leading-edge technologies that enable business innovation.
  2. Hyper Relevant. Knowing how to be—and stay—relevant by sensing and addressing customers’ changing needs.
  3. Data

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Ichak Adizes

I suggest that the goal of every system–and that includes corporations and not-for-profit organizations, micro-, mezzo-, and macro–is to be and to remain healthy. Confronted with major strategic decisions, or even some tactical decisions that have strategic repercussions, a leader should ask him- or herself: Is my decision going to promote or impair the health of the system I lead?

Elad Gil, Vinod Khosla

As Vinod Khosla has observed, your market entry strategy is often different from your market disruption strategy. And too many people focus on how small the market entry side is, but the entry point almost definitionally has to be small, because you have to find a space that isn’t covered or saturated by incumbents. If you find a gap and push your way through, often … [ Read more ]

Elad Gil

Markets with potential usually have a changing dynamic that allows new players to climb in and make room for themselves. It could be falling costs, new tech or a new distribution channel. Whatever it is, if you’ve heard something was difficult, you can’t just stop there because things have probably changed.

Strategy Talk: What’s the Right Mix of Organic Growth and Acquisitions?

If your team is debating the right mix of organic growth and acquisitions, don’t start by asking, What’s the right mix of growing organically and by acquisition? Instead, have your team focus on three different questions: How can we stretch the definition of our target customer, add to our value proposition, and commercialize our best capabilities in new ways? You and your colleagues have to … [ Read more ]

Aaron Gilcreast and Larry Jones

You can sometimes develop discrete measurements of what a company’s intrinsic value might be under different operators by conducting due diligence for a merger or acquisition. But even in the absence of a potential transaction, you should still assess the hypothetical intrinsic value of your businesses if they were operated by someone else. This can help you establish strategies that maximize value. If one of … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit

The best way to create [a rolling strategic plan] is to hold regular strategy conversations with your top team, perhaps as a fixed part of your monthly management meeting. To make those check-ins productive, you should maintain a “live” list of the most important strategic issues, a roster of planned big moves, and a pipeline of initiatives for executing them. At each meeting, executives can … [ Read more ]

Seeing Your Way to Better Strategy

Viewing strategy choices through four lenses—financial performance, markets, competitive advantage, and operating model—can help companies debias their strategic dialogues and make big, bold changes.

There Are Only 3 Types Of Companies In The World. Which One Are You?

What kind of company do you run, and why does it matter? The key to answering this questions is positioning, which is an articulation of your overall business strategy as it relates to the customer in a way that reflects your company culture. I advocate for DNA-based positioning, which defines a company as a customer-centric Mother, a product-focused Mechanic, or a concept-oriented Missionary. That’s it: … [ Read more ]

Baba Prasad

Agility is often confused with a speedy, reactive response. We can instead think of agility as a speedy and effective response, not just toward current circumstances but also [to factors] that may now be beyond the horizon. It’s not just a reactive response; it also is a strategic response. This is where [the concept of] strategic agility needs to come in. [Strategic agility] makes one … [ Read more ]

Future Founders, Here’s How to Spot and Build in Nonobvious Markets

For Elad Gil, an important lesson for aspiring founders and investors alike is that nonobvious markets can lead to hypergrowth, but they’re hard to spot in the moment. The trick lies in finding what bucks conventional wisdom before anyone else and scaling that unlikely idea into a high-growth company — something Gil is very familiar with.

In his roles as an operator and angel investor, Gil … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit

It is nearly impossible to make the big moves that successful strategies require if resources are thinly spread across all businesses and operations. Our data show that you are far more likely to achieve a major performance improvement when one or two businesses break out than when every business improves in lockstep. You have to identify those breakout opportunities as early as possible and feed … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit

Messy, fast-changing strategic uncertainties abound in today’s business environment. The yearly planning cycle and the linear world of three- to five-year plans are a poor fit with these dynamic realities. Instead, you need a rolling plan that you can update as needed.

In our experience, the best way to create such a plan is to hold regular strategy conversations with your top team, perhaps as a … [ Read more ]

The Bionic Company

Businesses need to develop their behavior, cognitive, and network capital so they can create and capture value that competitors can’t erode.

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, Sven Smit

It’s essential to track assumptions over time. A few short weeks after the plan is developed, the detailed assumptions go into a fog of memory. The variance to budget gets tracked very carefully, but the underlying assumptions—such as uptake rates, market growth, or inflation rates—are not assessed as carefully. Rather, decide what you can today, with the information you have, and build explicit trigger points … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, Sven Smit

We found that your industry’s performance is responsible for almost half of your position on the [economic profit] power curve. Industry impact is so substantial, in fact, that you would be better off as an average company in a great industry than a great company in an average industry. But here is the kicker: mobility on the curve is possible—but rare. The odds of a … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, Sven Smit

At some level, it is easy for the CEO to deal with uncertainty by playing the portfolio game of spreading investment like peanut butter around numerous businesses, knowing that not every bet has to pay off for the total plan to work. The problem is that a portfolio game on the corporate level becomes a matter of all-in commitment for an individual-business-unit leader. We have … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, Sven Smit

Uncertainty is not only everywhere in and around strategy—it is the very reason we need strategy. Without uncertainty, we would just need a plan to go from A to B.