Creating growth platforms: delivering long-term, sustainable, organic growth

Creating growth platforms

Growth platforms provide a means for identifying and prioritizing organic growth opportunities, and organizing the business...

Growth platforms are a means to identify, prioritize and organize for organic growth.

Organic growth is challenging but well-rewarded. It’s the best indicator of whether management has the necessary insight and judgement to make the most of company resources. Growth platforms are a means to identify, prioritize and organize for growth. They are the potential business units or divisions of the future.

Growth platforms are clusters of ‘related’ growth opportunities mapped and prioritized over a relevant time period. They can be organized according to common geographies, technologies, customers, channels, events and knowledge. There are three key factors behind the success of these platforms:

  1. Growth ambitions can only be realized when your company’s operating model is set up for growth. By their very nature, organic growth opportunities cross market or segment lines and require cross-functional input. They need ‘room to breathe’ and should be treated as a special case if they are to stimulate innovation and succeed. But neither should they become completely disconnected from the core business.
  2. You need to maintain momentum and measure progress frequently and transparently. Many organizations invest heavily in creating and organizing ideas into platforms, after which leadership loses touch, which causes the initiative to run out of steam and fail. In our experience, growth platforms should be managed carefully as a portfolio of investments, with specific metrics that differ from the more mature parts of the business.
  3. Ensure growth platforms are attractive propositions for your most talented employees. High-growth businesses always have ‘stars’ leading their platforms, and recognize the different skill sets required for success. Your platforms require more of a ‘start-up’ mindset and a willingness to take risks and experiment.

Many companies experience modest growth rates, and conclude that acquisition is the path to faster expansion. We believe that growth platforms offer the foundation for organic growth that can help your business thrive in the face of disruption, sector convergence and new competitors.
 

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