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Surviving the Growth Gap through Innovation

How can your business create new growth? This is a question that companies face when revenue — and ideas —start to stagnate. In business, treading water is akin to falling behind — but this may happen so gradually that by the time executive leadership is aware of the growth gap, it may be too late. This is why innovative and sustainable growth is critical to not only a company’s success but it’s survival.

The simple definition of a growth gap is: the difference between where a company is now and where it wants to be. Whether the gap is one of revenue or resources, both may benefit from a similar approach: innovation.

The time to turn to innovation strategies is when the growth aspiration and the current projected growth trajectory do not match up. The difference in degree is your growth gap and it demands a significant focus of the organization to determine and implement an innovation strategy — if that indeed is the solution.

Innovation can be a scary thought, especially in a corporate culture where many companies will choose short-term incentives even if they subvert long-term objectives. According to a report cited in the Wall Street Journal, “eighty percent of CFOs of major U.S. corporations would reportedly hold back on discretionary spending designed to fuel growth if they were likely to miss their quarterly earnings target.”

And, writing in the Harvard Business Review more recently, analysts noted: “Although corporate revenues and profits will continue to rise, the overall economic environment is becoming less favorable, and new rivals are putting the Western incumbents on notice.”

Is innovation the answer for your company’s growth gap?

First, a business organization should determine the current trajectory of its growth. Is it upward, downward or flat?

Then, take a hard look to ascertain whether innovation is the best way to bridge the growth gap. In other words, don’t jump on the innovation bandwagon without a measured analysis of business operations.

Areas where business organizations typically work to lift their growth trajectory by improvements to the current business model rather than innovation are:

  • Marketing and sales.

  • Customer satisfaction and retention.

  • Efficiencies in processes.

  • Resource utilization.

However, if your growth gap is related to revenue and/or product development, an innovation strategy may be your answer.

Boost Midwest knows how difficult it is for an organization’s leadership to maintain its current operations while creating an incremental or a more radical innovation strategy. At the same time, outsourcing innovation strategies can feel risky because an organization lays bare its business model and resources to a third party. As a business operations consultant, Boost Midwest can both assess your company’s growth, pinpoint where and how big the growth gap is, and offer innovative solutions to address it.

Partnering with third-party consultants allows both a fresh and objective assessment and perspective and keeps leadership involved in steps leading to innovation strategy decisions. Leadership will still monitor and be involved in key decision-making through one or two principal point persons but leave the initial strategizing to the consulting team.

Best practices in determining the appropriate strategy or strategies are:

  1. Define your growth gap.

  2. Do a gap analysis to examine the current state of affairs and align them with business goals and objectives.

  3. Determine the field of competition your organization operates in and compare your organization’s documented results.

  4. Understand key performance indicators (KPIs).

  5. Identify any gaps in the market your organization operates in.

  6. Decide on actionable steps: innovation strategies or improvement strategies.

  7. Define clear innovation goals that will provide measurable outcomes to bridge the gap.

  8. Set a timeline that allows enough room to assess if the strategy is working.

Whether your assessment points to an innovation strategy or an improvement strategy, your company doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Boost Midwest has experience in assessing growth gaps, analyzing the gap, and creating a blueprint for solutions to ensure your business organization has the strategies in place it needs to survive — and succeed.

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Ready to learn more about how Boost Midwest can help you optimize your project management and operations? Schedule your free consultation call with us today using our Quick Schedule Link here.

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