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Conventional approach to Organic Growth has business leaders extending their existing product lines and brands, as well as entering new geographic regions. This conventional Growth Strategy at some point in time starts failing to provide the results required to hold market leadership positions.
Focus-driven Growth is an approach that provides results regardless of the economic environment. The approach demands that the leadership team keep a methodical approach that covers the entirety of the business cycle i.e., from Strategic Planning and Strategic Vision to Strategy Execution and Performance Management.
Outwardly mature businesses can be reinvigorated by making a small number of—but larger—bets and by concentrating unremittingly on implementing a straightforward but forceful vision.
This approach has been successfully tested and has proven its mettle in at least 3 well-known companies, on 3 continents, over a span of 10 years.
Focus-driven Growth demands that the organization progress sequentially through a set of 7 steps.
- Discovery—Through a Discovery process, determine what works and what does not for the organization.
- Strategy—Through the Strategy step, group and prioritize what works for the organization.
- Vision—By outlining a Vision statement, line up organizational efforts behind an unmistakably comprehended goal.
- People—Through this step, place the right people in all functions and give them their required resources.
- Execution—Through Execution, elucidate who does what and transfer decision making closer to customers and consumers.
- Organization—Through the Organization process, manage the Growth initiative by establishing communities and networks throughout the organization.
- Metrics—Through this step, keep a track of Growth with objective yet uncomplicated scorecards.
When taken collectively in the right order, these steps embody a formidable prescription for generating profitable Growth.
Let us delve a little deeper into some of the steps.
Every organization has segments of Growth areas. This step entails discovering those areas for further processing. Leadership of the organization should gather in a series of workshops and identify which areas of the business are performing far better than the others. Identified segments become the focus areas of Growth because it is easier to refine and enlarge the successful areas rather than remedy what is not working.
Focus areas discovered in the 1st step need to be grouped and prioritized in order to delineate the focused bets that the company ought to make. Focus areas may be categories, brands, geographies, platforms, that are doing well.
A single page preliminary strategy roadmap giving priority for each area results from the above process.
Outcomes of Step 2 have to be summarized into a forceful yet uncomplicated Vision which serves to align efforts behind a clearly grasped goal.
Interested in learning more about Focus-driven Growth? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Focus-driven Growth here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu
For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics. Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to “Tactical” Strategy. Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.
These frameworks include Porter’s Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner’s Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.
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Organizations typically focus on Customer-centric Design in their Strategic Planning and overlook the critical driver of Performance, Growth, and Operational Excellence—their employees. With cut-throat competition now the norm the realization has become clearer that employees are:
- The face of the business and create lasting—or perishing—brand impression.
- Sources of innovation and organizational knowledge.
- Representation of the company’s service philosophy.
- Expected to live by its Organizational Culture and values.
Employee Engagement has emerged as one of the significant pillars on which the Competitive Advantage, Productivity, and Growth of an organization rests. What, exactly, does it mean when an employee is engaged? Employee Engagement, over the years, has been thought of in terms of:
- Personal engagement with the organization.
- Focus on performance of assigned work.
- Worker burnout.
- Basic needs (meaningful work, safe workplace, abundant resources).
- Attention on Cognitive, Emotional and Behavioral components related to an individual’s performance.
Although Employee Engagement is widely seen as an important concept, there has been little consensus on its definition or its components either in business or in the academic literature.
Kumar and Pansari’s 2015 study define Employee Engagement as:
“a multidimensional construct that comprises all of the different facets of the attitudes and behaviors of employees towards the organization”.
The multidimensional construct of Employee Engagement has been synthesized into the following 5 components (or dimensions).
- Employee Satisfaction
- Employee Identification
- Employee Commitment
- Employee Loyalty
- Employee Performance
The 5 dimensions of Employee Engagement have been found to have a direct correlation with high profitability, as substantiated by a number of research studies:
For instance, a study of 30 companies in the airline, telecom and hotel industries shows a close relationship between Employee Engagement and growth in profits. After controlling other relevant factors—i.e., GDP level, marketing costs, nature of business, and type of goods, the study found:
- Highest profitability growth—10% to 15%—in companies with highly engaged employees.
- Lowest level of profitability growth—0% to 1%—in companies with disengaged employees.
Research reveals that Employee Engagement affects 9 performance outcomes; including Customer Ratings, Profitability, Productivity, Safety Incidents, Shrinkage (theft), Absenteeism, Patient Safety Incidents, Quality (Defects), and Turnover.
The differences in performance between engaged and actively disengaged work units revealed:
- Top half Employee Engagement scores nearly doubled the odds of success compared with those in the bottom half.
- Companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share (EPS).
These 5 dimensions become the base for measuring Employee Engagement in a meaningful manner that permits managers to identify areas of improvement. To assess an organization’s current status of Employee Engagement, a measurement system is needed that includes:
- Metrics for each component of Employee Engagement.
- A scale for scoring metrics in each component.
- A comprehensive scorecard that pulls everything together.
Let us delve a little deeper into the first 2 dimensions of Employee Engagement.
Employee Satisfaction is the positive reaction employees have to their overall job circumstances, including their supervisors, pay and coworkers.
When employees are satisfied, they tend to be:
- Committed to their work.
- Less absent and more productive in terms of quality of goods and services.
- Connected with the organization’s values and goals.
- Perceptive about being a part of the organization.
The 5 metrics that gauge Employee Engagement in terms of Employee Satisfaction include:
- Receiving recognition for a job.
- Feeling close to people at work.
- Feeling good about working at the organization.
- Feeling secure about the job.
- Believing that the management is concerned about employees.
We take a look at another dimension central in significance.
Signifies what motivates the employees to do more than what’s in their job descriptions.
Employee Commitment is much higher for the employees who identify with the organization. This element:
- Develops over time and is an outcome of shared experiences.
- Is often an antecedent of loyalty.
- Induces employees to guard the organization’s secrets.
- Pushes employees to work for organization’s best interests.
Research has found that employees with the highest levels of commitment:
- Perform 20% better.
- Are 87% less likely to leave the organization.
The 3 metrics that gauge the Employee Commitment dimension of Employee Engagement include:
- Commitment to deliver the brand promise along with knowledge of the brand.
- Very committed to delivering the brand promise.
- Feels like the organization has a great deal of personal meaning.
Interested in learning more about these foundational pillars to Employee Engagement? You can download an editable PowerPoint on 5 Dimensions of Employee Engagement here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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Creating a culture that measures productivity objectively is a sensitive matter. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are being employed extensively by organizations across the globe to monitor and track performance. KPIs provide valuable metadata to improve top-down and bottom-up vertical efficiency.
Analytics-driven firms are aware that KPIs are much more than a tool to evaluate performance. Utilizing KPIs, they gather valuable insights, create enterprise-wide accountability, and develop a goal-oriented culture.
However, most executives typically fall short of utilizing KPIs to their full potential. They have to realize that the effectiveness of KPIs depends on two distinct yet important elements: KPI transparency for the entire workforce—making the core metrics available across the board at all levels—and alignment of KPIs—determining the KPIs most relevant to the people and organizational purpose, and taking action based on the results of performance monitoring. Leading organizations share KPIs with all stakeholders and use algorithms to gauge the contribution of KPIs to critical functions, e.g., Marketing and Customer Experience.
To create an objective-driven culture, the senior leadership should work on developing capabilities to outline key performance and putting in place accurate metrics to measure it. The selection and prioritization of most relevant indicators is something that the leadership needs to carefully think about.
When defining KPIs, there are 5 KPI focus areas. Each focus area is unique and critical, but collectively they have a profound impact on each other and on the organizations that are aiming to undergo Digital Transformation. Leading Data and Analytics-driven organizations devise KPIs that cover all 5 of these focus areas:
- Enterprise KPIs
- Customer KPIs
- Workplace Analytics
- Partner and Supplier KPIs
- Quantified-self KPIs
Let’s discuss the first 3 focus areas in detail, for now.
The Enterprise KPIs benchmark the effectiveness of core functions of an organization. These indicators are important to determine the accountability of the leadership and workforce, and are vital for strategic as well as routine decision-making and investment. Examples of these indicators include Risk-Adjusted Return On Capital (RAROC) and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
The Customer KPIs facilitate in measuring the knowledge and impact of all leads, prospects, and customers. These metrics are used to calculate the actual and likely financial contributions of business prospects and clients. The Customer KPIs assist in analyzing and ranking the relationships that organizations aspire to develop with the customers and better understanding each segment and sales funnel the customers belong. Customer lifetime value is an example of these indicators.
The Workplace Analytics pertain to quantifying the efficiency and commitment level of organizational people. These analytics are used to isolate leadership tools and methodologies helpful in enhancing customer focus, and capture and quantify process outcomes and outputs feeding organizational KPIs. These metrics are valuable in measuring collaboration across the organization, gauging the proficiency of managers in motivating their teams, and highlighting the elements that demoralize people.
Interested in learning more about the 5 KPI areas of focus? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): 5 Areas of Focus here on the Flevy documents marketplace.