When it comes down to it, growth is the ultimate concern of every organization leader. How far should we expand our operations? What kind of expansion can we afford? How much will we grow in the coming quarter? In the coming year? And how much could we have grown? Of all the questions above, the last question is the most haunting to leaders. Though there’s no way to know what could have been when it comes to growth, there is a strategy to ensure sustained, reliable growth year after year. It’s called a capabilities-driven approach, and it begins with recognizing your strengths.

A Capabilities-Driven Approach to Growth

The most basic and, indeed, most flawed growth strategy is trying to deliver exactly what consumers want. Though it may sound cliché, true growth comes from within. Identify areas where your company is succeeding (your capabilities) and let those areas drive your company’s directives. The idea is to build on existing success rather than try and cater to each consumer fad that arises. Consumer trends come and go. By identifying and capitalizing on your successes you can build your brand, stay relevant to your targeted market, and maintain consistent growth.

How to do it

Once you’ve identified your areas of strength, you can chart an objective course to build on your successes. Below are four strategies that should be used simultaneously.

1. In-market leverage

Seek out growth opportunities within your existing customer base. Every organization has a core market they rely on for profits. Maintaining business from these clients should be your first concern. Once you’ve identified strategies to capitalize on existing customers, you can begin looking into other areas.

2. Near-market expansion

Though expanding into new markets with new products and/or services carries unavoidable risk, it also offers the possibility of great rewards. Take a look at sectors your competition is targeting and develop strategies to cut in on their market share. As we stated before: your existing customers are your greatest concern. Don’t allow yourself to get carried away with expansion into adjacent fields until you’ve developed a plan for in-market growth.

3. Disruptive growth

Disruptive growth is similar to near-market expansion, though it’s more extreme and riskier. Only develop new products and/or offer new services if you have a clear idea of how they will complement those already in place.

4. Capability development

Capability development applies to all three strategies already mentioned. It’s about increasing efficiency and productivity with innovation, leadership changes, and changes in company culture.

Organizational Change with The Change Leader

Here at The Change Leader, our specialty is in capability development. We help our clients evaluate existing strategies and identify areas for improvement with strategic planning, consulting, leadership development, and more. For complete information on how we build high-performance cultures, please visit our homepage.