Every business reaches the point where the things that used to work don’t work any longer. Growth slows, and the path forward becomes unclear. The symptoms include:
- You find yourself having to work harder and harder to achieve the same results;
- Competitors are gaining ground;
- You have new ideas, but no money, or no time, or no energy to develop them;
- You see psychological warfare developing; everyone blames someone else for the stagnation;
- You had hopes of selling the business, but the longer it stays stuck the less attractive it looks;
- Investors are becoming restless;
- Staff are restless and it’s getting harder and harder to attract and keep good staff without an exciting growth story and the opportunities that growth creates;
You are stuck at an unsustainable size (most markets have successful small companies and successful large companies but very few successful medium size companies. There’s a valley of death between the two positions, and that is where you are).
Should We Be Talking?
If you recognise your situation in the above, maybe we should talk. It’s likely to be a productive conversation if some or all of these apply:
- You believe that your business can grow significantly. You are looking for more than incremental growth.
- You may practise continuous improvement, but recognise that it needs to punctuated by discontinuous change, and that discontinuous change cannot come from doing the same things better. It comes from doing things differently, or doing different things.
- You are neither a “conformist” nor a “maverick.” Sometimes you will do things in radically different ways, and sometimes you are happy to do them the same way as everyone else. It is a question of judgment which is right for the particular situation, and you have confidence in your judgment
- You are open to insights from surprising sources. You don’t believe business schools have a monopoly on useful concepts, tools, techniques.
Video – Why Innovation Is So Often Hard, And What To Do About It