Want to know the secret you’ve been missing to grow your business?
Well, you can certainly find plenty of people who will claim they can tell you. Every marketing agency and consultancy in the world claims to have the blueprint for exponential business growth. If you don’t believe it, just do a quick Google search for grow my business. You’ll be furnished with over one billion results.
There has been no single word or idea that has obsessed entrepreneurs and executives, particularly those in sales and marketing, more than growth. But here’s the secret: growth isn’t really up to you. There, I said it.
When Growth Is The Goal
When growth becomes a central goal within an organization, even if it’s well articulated and quantified (grow revenues by 6 percent in Q4, for example), individuals and teams are then held accountable to achieve these results.
But is being accountable for growth fair to anyone, given the sheer number of variables at play? Market trends, the actions of your competitors, new government regulations, unforeseeable problems with a vendor or supplier—the list of potential wild cards is limitless, and there’s simply no way to develop a foolproof plan for business growth that accounts for all of these factors. No one individual or team can anticipate and control the variables that impact business growth, so true accountability to growth is often weak and pointless.
But if that makes it sound like I’m arguing that executives and sales and marketing professionals should avoid accountability, nothing could be further from the truth.
Accountability to a Method – Not a Result
The concept of accountability is a vitally important management principal within an organization. When accountability grows weak, companies tend to lose their focus and accumulate more waste. For this reason, I feel that weak accountability to “growth” should be replaced by a strong accountability to a methodology that enables growth. That is: A set of principles and tools that do not guarantee growth, but rather guarantee the most efficient and effective pursuit of it.
To put it most succinctly: You can’t predict exactly what the future will hold, or how external forces will shape your business growth, but you can be accountable for how efficiently and effectively you’re deploying your team and resources.
What Lies Clearly at Hand
Perhaps this sentiment is best summarized by Thomas Carlyle, who said, “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” Accountability to business growth—something that can only be seen dimly and from a distance, if it can be seen at all—is a quick way for businesses to lose their focus; holding them accountable for implementing and adhering to a prudent and well-considered methodology today can be clarifying and emboldening.
The Declaration of Independence lists Life, Liberty and the PURSUIT of Happiness because there are no guarantees when it comes to happiness– and it’s the same with growth. We can only pursue it… and the best companies focus their attention on the efficiency and effectiveness with which they do.
Helping companies pursue growth efficiently and effectively leverage a LEAN-AGILE methodology and framework is what we do here at Lenses and Levers. To learn more about our unique approach, reach out and say hello.