4 Ways To Build Sustainable Business Growth

(By Annette Kimmitt)

Digital technologies — including social media, the cloud, data analytics and mobile — are affecting businesses across all industries. These technologies are fundamentally changing the ways in which consumers interact with these companies, while also opening up new business models that consider digital enterprise, analytics, information technology, security, information privacy and IT function.

As the leader of a fast-growing company, how can you accelerate and sustain your organization’s growth?

In our extensive conversations with some of the today’s most dynamic companies, we’ve learned that the answer lies in focusing on a specific set of drivers and knowing how to leverage each one in a practical way.

No one single company is a market leader across all of these drivers, nor does any company invest equal resources behind them all.

Determining the right balance across these drivers, based on your organization’s priorities, helps reduce the volatility usually associated with rapid growth while accelerating sustainable growth.

I recently wrote about The EY 7 drivers of growth, based on our experience working with many of the world’s fastest-growing companies. This week, I’d like to delve into the first four drivers and provide some insights that can help you determine what’s right for your company.

1. Customer: deliver an exceptional customer experience
From the outset, leading companies make customers their focal point. They understand that by putting customers’ needs and desires first, they can achieve a competitive advantage. Of the companies we recently surveyed, 69% see customer experience as vital to growth. They know all about their customers – who they are, what they want, and when they want it. These companies are constantly thinking about how to keep delivering value for each and every customer in all markets they operate in. Your strategy should be wide-reaching and encompass your products and services, as well as your marketing, channels, and sales and pricing strategies.

2. People, behaviors and culture: nurture your high-performing teams
To win the war for talent, leading businesses combine capability, performance management, innovation, leadership and rewards. This combination creates a culture that attracts and retains the right people to help grow your businesses —high-performing teams made up of people who share your vision and fit your culture.

Leading businesses foster an environment where people can innovate to drive the business forward. They also invest in their employees. Your sustainable growth will come as you nurture your talent and help people develop skills to match the demands of your growing business.

3. Digital, technology and analytics: expand your CIO’s role
Digital technologies — including social media, the cloud, data analytics and mobile — are affecting businesses across all industries. These technologies are fundamentally changing the ways in which consumers interact with these companies, while also opening up new business models that consider digital enterprise, analytics, information technology, security, information privacy and IT function. This expanding digital enterprise presents an important opportunity for your CIO to play a more strategic role in the business.

4. Operations: analyze, analyze, analyze
Your operating model is the link between strategic intent and the ability of your organization to deliver on that intent. Having a clear approach that aligns your operations with your strategy increases your ability to achieve success.

COOs at market-leading companies consider all aspects of operations, including operations strategy, operational excellence and continuous improvement, and creating a resilient and sustainable supply chain. Leaving nothing to chance, they continuously analyze their operations to ensure all parts remain at their most effective at all times, making changes when needed. Our research suggests that companies able to analyze and successfully exploit the information they hold outperform their peers by up to 20%.

Stay tuned for my examination of the last three drivers of growth. They hold further insights into how developing, established and leading companies are accelerating sustainable growth.

Tell us: Which of these four drivers is most important to your business?

Annette Kimmitt is Ernst & Young’s Melbourne Managing Partner leading a team of more than 120 Partners and 1600 staff. With more than 27 years professional and commercial experience, Annette has spent the past six years leading various businesses within Ernst & Young to implement strategic and transformational change. In addition to her role as Melbourne Managing Partner, Annette is the Lead Client Service Partner for Ernst & Young’s Victorian Government practice.

Source: EY, Forbes

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