Knowing where your business is going, and why, is critical to growth. Having a purpose makes for better business decisions, a clearer strategy and easier management in an uncertain world.
Companies are awash with visions and strategies, but what distinguishes the Growth Generators from the rest is that they live their purpose. They use it to drive all parts of their business. They have the ability to look beyond the hard financial results and take bold decisions that drive growth. They constantly measure whether they are living up to their purpose, how they are meeting their customer needs, and ask those customers what they think. All of this creates more confident and motivated organisations.
Who are the Growth Generators?
They made up 12 percent (119/1000) of our sample in our Planning for growth research. And they were close to 10 times more likely than low-to-no-growth businesses to achieve their growth targets.
Invest in your workforce
Growth Generators also invest in their people. They know that talent and skills are critical to growth and that they need committed people to support them. Low-to-no growth companies didn’t even rank people in the top five of the factors that could drive growth. In contrast the Growth Generators are focused on aligning their people with their purpose to reap the rewards of the energy and commitment that this creates in their workforce.
All this makes a measurable difference of more than 40% to our Growth Generators who say having a purpose helped them move to the next level of growth. “Live by your core values and know what you will compromise on and what you won’t. Then make sure you are aligned throughout so that people understand your mission and live by it. Figure out what you’re there for other than making money – and mean it,” says James Perry, co-founder of COOK.
To match the performance of the Growth Generators, companies need to find a purpose and understand that means looking beyond financial measures. Guy Warren, CEO at software company ITRS outlined how he sees the challenge: “In my eyes, CEOs tend to focus too much on the financials when this is the outcome of running the business properly. Not investing in your people, damaging your customers or product - all of those fight against profit.”
It’s clear that Growth Generators don’t just measure financial performance but ask their customers what they think their purpose is. They have boards that are engaged and reflect their purpose, ensuring everyone from procurement to HR understands it, and communicates it effectively.