Where is Your Organization on the Growth Journey?
Organizations of all sizes and shapes are hoping and needing to grow to stay competitive. Growth does not only result in expansion. Depending on an organization’s mission, growth could encompass improved efficiency or enhancements in innovation. Goals aside, an organization must understand its current operating limitations in order to adopt the appropriate road map forward.
Knowing where you are today is the first step in identifying how you can improve the future. This starts with understanding the role of information within your organization. While there have been many technological advancements—and many companies are quick to purchase them—how they use them to add value to their business is what really matters.
So where is your organization on the growth journey? Keep reading to learn about the three main stages, how you can determine your position, and what you need to do to reach the next destination.
The Functional Stage is where most companies, despite technology advancements, find themselves today.
Does this sound like you? You are getting the jobs done but it is slow, painful, and fraught with risk. From an information perspective, you are focused on reporting the past. You have multiple systems that don’t connect and lead to confusing metrics that aren’t clear or seemingly even related to actual performance. And, of course, the biggest hallmark of Functional Stage companies is static spreadsheets. There are loads of static spreadsheets.
If you are in the Functional Stage, the first thing you can do to reach the next level is to assess and understand all your information processes. What are all the systems you use? How reliable is the information you are getting? And how effective and timely is your distribution of that information?
Companies that are making progress on their growth journey are in the Transitional Stage.
As a Transitional Stage organization, you have tried to take advantage of technology advancements. You have some systems in place, perhaps a business intelligence tool or a dashboard for executives. You’re able to effectively see what’s happening now and you can react to those triggers. Everyone is making gains wherever they can.
Transitional Stage is a good place to be, but you know you could do better. To get to the next stage, you’ll want to consider how you can bring together information from all your systems and look forward.
The most successful organizations are benefiting from a 360-degree view of all parts of the business. This is where our customers are headed.
You have carefully crafted forward-looking KPIs that use leading indicators to anticipate future results. This is easy to do, of course, because you have a single view of your business with powerful, interactive storyboards that everyone can see. All your staff is happily engaged in analysis and planning because so much of the tedious work has been automated.
Once you are at this stage, it’s a matter of constant honing and improvement to stay on the successful course.
Regardless of where you are in the Growth Journey, there are lessons here for all of us. Making sure we consider the power of information to drive the organization is surely the biggest one. Considering and assessing the timeliness, accuracy, and reach of our business information helps us to see the past so that we can focus on the future. Still unsure of how a growth approach is different? Read our article The Growth-Driven Difference for more understanding.