How To Own the Next Era Of Growth: Setting Your Company Up for Success

by Pranav Ramesh
July 26, 2022

There is no denying that sustained company growth remains a top priority for execs in the C-suite. But for many organizations, that’s often easier said than done. Company growth can be challenging because leadership often limits the exploration of opportunity for a variety of reasons, including fiscal concerns, time investment, and staffing shortages. Leaders also fail to investigate multiple and different opportunities, which can severely limit growth potential. Skyrocketing inflation and stiff competition for talent have only further complicated company growth and development.  

If leaders can better understand where to focus their efforts and make concentrated investments in growth opportunities, they can set their companies up for unprecedented future success. With the era of AI, machine learning, and cloud computing just beginning, learning how to capture these technologies for significant future growth moving forward.  

Read on for a deeper dive into growth strategies for the next technological era, including how leadership can choose growth over stagnation and how the C-suite can invest in initiatives that naturally sustain growth and inclusion in today’s challenging markets.  

 

Choosing Growth: An Executive’s Guide  

According to a study by McKinsey, between 2010 and 2019, only one in eight companies achieved more than 10 percent revenue growth annually. While sustained growth is possible, it often comes down to company leadership making a calculated choice to make growth a priority.  

Once growth is determined to be a long-term priority for a company, it begins to affect every area of decision-making across the business. A focus on growth positively feeds company culture and elevates the ambitions of employees across pay grades. Many studies have shown that a resolute and committed focus on growth also creates increased value for shareholders, attracts smarter and more innovative talent, and creates new divisions and positions within a company. Not a bad ROI for choosing a forward-thinking approach to growth and company development.  

Email software company Mailchimp is one example of company leadership keeping their collective eye on future growth while charting a course through rough economic waters, not once, but twice during two different recessions.  

Founded during the recession of 2001, Mailchimp initially began as an alternative to more expensive email software options available in the early 2000s. It continued this course for close to a decade, focusing on attracting large corporate clients with profits coming mostly from the annual retainers these companies paid. But then, the Great Recession of 2008 hit, and it hit hard. To not only remain competitive, but to survive, Mailchimp adjusted its business model to include a “freemium” business strategy in 2009, and, within 12 short months, the company’s user base had ballooned from 85,000 to 450,000. Mailchimp is now a household name for businesses large and small to communicate with customers and clients.  

 

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Sustainable and Inclusive Initiatives for Growth 

Another main consideration in a company’s ability to grow is the initiatives it chooses to invest in. As economies across the globe begin to recover from the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic, many C-suite executives are beginning to think about not just protecting the lives and livelihoods of employees and customers, but how to better them. While ESG goals have been around since the mid-2000s, current societal challenges are much larger than surviving a pandemic and can take much longer to solve. How can company leadership build a future that delivers both growth and sustainability and inclusion for all involved? 

This is perhaps the most daunting problem for executives to tackle- not just increasing company growth but doing so in a matter that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. There’s no straight formula for success and the answer will vary greatly depending on multiple factors unique to each company. By considering proven methods of growth and incorporating ESG elements into new initiatives, executives can learn from and adapt what will work best for them. 

 

  • Growth supports inclusion: By creating meaningful jobs and providing living wages, there’s proof that emerging economies with high growth support inclusion by reducing the global share of people living in extreme poverty, opening new avenues for hundreds to millions of people to the middle class.  
  • Growth promotes sustainability by encouraging shareholders to invest: Company growth strengthens consumer confidence in spending and demand, which are crucial elements of a sustainable investment market. Typically, greater shareholder investments spur increased company productivity and worker wages, leading to more growth. It’s a cycle that company leaders should prioritize for the long term.  
  • Inclusion and sustainability promote growth through demand and investment opportunities: Sustainability initiatives drive new business opportunities in fields such as green tech and climate change. Inclusion initiatives have a similar effect on growth as well. As inclusion spurs greater demand a burgeoning middle class is a key driver of consumption. Global youth training and development, especially of much-needed digital skills, will help close tech skill gaps around the globe. 
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C-suite leaders need to stay committed to their company’s growth initiatives even in troubling or uncertain times. While strategies may need to be adjusted as markets change, having a forward-thinking mindset focused on growth and improvement will not only benefit an organization but can have a positive global impact as well.  

 

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