In recent months, organic growth has risen to the top of the corporate agenda. A Marakon survey in April 2004 found that organic growth is the key issue for 59 percent of the senior executives running US, European and Asian companies. For 57 percent, the priority has increased over the past year. Other studies highlight similar sentiments. For instance, a recent IBM survey of CEOs worldwide found revenue growth is the top agenda item for four of five.
Most if not all of a company’s resources are spent moving through its corporate lifecycle, and that movement is typically fixed along a predetermined path. What happens when that company experiences rapid sales growth and an immediate change is required?
What happens when a rapid shift must occur due to unexpected competitor activity or due to a recent exodus of staff in light of the current labor shortage?
The challenge today is that with companies running lean and efficiently they cannot typically afford the time, money, and people required to deal with these issues effectively. They usually cannot afford the expensive trial-and-error associated with both learning and implementing new best practices, either. This is as true for Fortune 500 companies trying to reinvent themselves as it is for startups just entering the marketplace and experiencing fast growth.
Growth has become so important that an increasing number of companies–H.J. Heinz, Interpublic Group and Hain Celestial, among them–have carved out a new executive position: “Chief Growth Officer.”