Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Interesting paper from IBM Business Consulting Services from 2004 indicating growth has returned as a major priority for CEOs. The paper can be found at http://www.aia-aerospace.org/supplier_res/pdf/smc_wp-triathlon.pdf. Here are few key quotes I took away:

Executives sometimes view their growth potential as limited by a number of factors: the maturity of their industry and geographic "neighborhood," the size of the company and the difficulty of sustaining growth over time. This study strongly suggests these perceptions are self-imposed limits, not necessarily marketplace realities.

According to IBM, the best practice among the firms achieving top growth are:

• Course: The identification and selection of opportunities, the development of a winning model and the creation and funding of initiatives sufficient for sustaining growth. In setting course, executives should consider questions such as: where is the industry headed? Where do we play in this future? How will we win and keep winning?

• Capability: The activities, skills and assets that support the operational model and enable the successful execution of the growth strategy. Here, executives must ask:what do we need to win?

• Conviction: The creation of organizational belief, momentum and resilience in moving toward growth goals. The key question here is: how will we generate action, maintain momentum and bounce back from failure?

Regarding setting a course, IBM recommends:

• Understand the forces impacting the industry and how they will shape its future
• Demand and recognize insights from the business units and senior management on where value will be created
• Acknowledge areas of uncertainty and reassess the point of view on an ongoing basis
• Create internal forums for industry and strategic discussion, separate from operational reviews.


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