Why Not Focus on Growth?

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With so much emphasis on cost control and risk management, I ask you why not focus on growth? That does not mean, nor do I advocate, taking attention away from these other two vital pillars of successful business leadership. It is a fallacy that you can cost and risk contain your way to a better, more sustainable business. Ultimately, you have to return your attention to the top line. I argue that three major themes is a better approach to leadership, especially in this prolonged low growth environment. Done effectively, your business will emerge not only much stronger, but also much larger. This is particularly true because so many others, your competitors, are so busy focusing internally.

Be bold. Look for market share growth. Find new outlets for your products and services. Deepen your relationships with existing customers. You might even find growth by tuning your cost and risk initiatives to focus on delivering the things your customers most need and want – and eliminating what they don’t. This is not a zero sum game. Your team can handle more than one or two major thrusts. Done intelligently, these growth initiatives need not be investment or expense hogs. Face it, more people are energized by customer focused activities than cost control or risk management, and if you can blend them, all the better.

In the end, you need all three, and you can have them. Your ultimate objective is to come away from this a larger entity, with a stronger balance sheet, higher customer loyalty and employee engagement, and a lower risk profile. Who can’t get enthused about that? So get started. Today.

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