The Strategies for Accelerating Growth in Any Economy
In my career thus far, I have managed companies of $50M to $1,500M and teams that range from 200 to 5,000-plus employees. I’ve managed three exits with a combined value of more than $1.3B. Most recently, I’ve become president and CEO of Avetta, the Utah-headquartered leader of supply chain risk management serving some 450 enterprise companies throughout the world in industries such as oil/gas, telecom, construction, and many other sectors.
I’m often asked what it takes to sustain high growth, particularly a large and global company and even more particularly in an uncertain national and global economy.
Interestingly and increasingly as I’ve led and played strategic roles in companies ranging from Paradigm Ltd. (a developer of software solutions for the oil and gas industry) to publicly traded analytics firm IHS Markit, to Symantec and McKinsey & Company, the answers are similar, and the steps are the same.
Whether public or private and regardless of economic conditions, the secrets to sustained and accelerated growth fall into three pillars:
- Platform. Promote and deliver industry-wide innovation. This will likely mean big data and a high degree of automation to make
- Partnerships. Surround customers in every region with the necessary expertise to embrace the opportunity in every market and during every economic and industry condition and shift,
- People. Build a foundation for long-term industry health beyond your own boundaries, but for the strength of your sector and the continued strength of your customers’ industry sectors as well.
This may seem counter-intuitive, particularly during challenging times. However, my experience in guiding global companies through a variety of market conditions, it is your ability to embrace innovation, to think beyond your organization and to invest in and empower the right people will be the key to successful growth in any economic condition.
This may sound difficult, but the steps are similar in every case. Regardless of the current size of your company, think about proceeding forward through the following steps:
- Embrace technology. This means strategic use of AI and data analysis to ensure your customers are up to the minute on everything they need to know on available partners and suppliers, availability of resources, compliance and up-to-the-minute regulatory information for any region and any sector to make vital operational steps easy and economical. This will likely require SaaS tools and even a SaaS platform to ensure consistent and fluid workflow and delivery of information and goods.
- Be adaptable and flexible. In every business, there will be surprises. Tariffs. Trade conditions vary. The systems and processes you put in place will need the ability to adapt quickly and to innovate where necessary. This may be an arena where partnerships come into play, as all involved will be playing in a similar arena, and it may require the collective strength of multiple players to progress.
- Think ahead. Like hockey player Wayne Gretzky, your organization must stay carefully tuned into “where the puck is going,” and not only about the current “what is.” In supply chain risk management that means quick action to address changing issues such as trade law, compliance issues around situations such as CBD which is legal and doctor prescribed in some states but not legal in others, or the growing attention required around new considerations in safety and in mental health.
- Focus on the CX. Customer experience is everything. Regardless of your advances, your technology, and your foresight and thinking, in actual practice, you are only as valuable as your customers perceive you to be. Likewise, strong customer experience can only be delivered by a company with an excellent culture, so you will need to be sure you’re continually fostering a strong internal culture as well.
- Timing is everything. Speed to delivery is vital, but excellence and accuracy is imperative as well. This is where sufficient investment, resources, and expertise is vital to ensuring your need for speed isn’t coming to the market at a quality cost or creates a financial burden that makes your company vulnerable to the slightest problem.
- Hire the right people. Of everything, this step is perhaps your most imperative key. With the right people on board (and in the right positions), your company is unstoppable in any region and sector. So hire and support your valued employees with care.
The Silicon Slopes region carries an exceptionally high track record for company growth. But regardless of your sector or region, an eye to these priorities and steps will point your company in the right direction for continued success