Just what is a Growth Lever, and why are they so interesting to me? Thinking back on when I've had the most fun and success in my career, the common theme was that we had found the primary lever to dramatically grow the business.
- For a dot-com start-up in the late 90's it meant establishing credibility with large customers through a highly refined supply chain strategy
- For a wireless infrastructure provider, it meant solid back-end lease management systems to manage leases for the land the towers were constructed on and for antenna positions for the carriers, enabling international growth
- For a national home builder, it meant developing consistent operating processes and systems to support dramatic acquisition growth
- For a niche publisher, it meant implementing project management methodology to accelerate new product development.
Each of these situations were exciting in their own way and demonstrate that Growth Levers are different for every company. Growth Levers can and likely will change, or be re-prioritized over time, as the company effectively executes on their primary Growth Lever.
Companies often struggle to recognize their Growth Lever because they develop an internally focused perspective on the business. Gaining an outside perspective is critical and can lead to unlocking the company's growth potential. You could do this by joining peer groups, or getting involved in industry forums. You could also tap advisors to help in this regard, delivering a more thorough analysis of your situation.
Which ever path you choose, be sure to look across the entire business to uncover your Growth Levers. If you focus on only one functional area, you will have a tendency to uncover Growth Levers that naturally fall into that domain. The analysis should be broad and then focus in as opportunities are identified, avoiding blind spots.
Will you uncover your Growth Levers?