The newsletters of Adam Hartung.
Keynote Speaker, Managing Partner, Author on Trends
Stop Throwing Your Company’s Resources Away
Is your organization stuck in the Flats of the River Lifecycle while the Innovation Gap grows? Are you pouring your resources into doing more of what you’ve done, even though you aren’t achieving the results you want – and need? Are competitors outflanking you with innovations? Are your customers telling you everything is fine, then buying from competitors? OUCH!!!
You need to change how you use your resources. You need to figure out how to put more resources into new products and customers, and less into trying to defend & extend sales of current products to current customers.
You need to change how you use your resources. You need to figure out how to put more resources into new products and customers, and less into trying to defend &extend sales of current products to current customers.
For established companies, the investment mix often looks like this.
But for start-ups would you be surprised to know their resources are allocated more like this?
Our experience taught us that when the Current/Current investment exceeds 40% the company is “Stuck in the Flats;” over-resourcing slow growth business while under-resourcing new opportunities. After the frenzied growth in the Rapids, it feels like a relief to reach the Flats – where leadership would love to cruise along on auto-pilot, fine-tuning a few things and watching costs. But, the drift into decline begins at that moment- because the focus shifts to internal process optimization at the expense of monitoring external market trends. (Click here for last month’s newsletter on the River.)
Remember, the Ansoff matrix doesn’t just apply to where you put the money. As the Bain alums wrote in “Time,Talent, Energy” (see my review here,) you can use the Ansoff matrix to manage your talented people. In the Flats, leadership puts the best people in the Existing/Existing corner – optimizing the OLD business. The unintended effect is to dry up the Wellspring of new ideas, and leave precious little talent available for focusing on new growth.
To remain on the growth curve, companies need to put their best people onto new efforts, including projects in the New/New corner! By moving more investment capital, and talent clusters, into other cells any company can keep the Wellspring flowing with ideas and find The Next Big thing.
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“Knowing your purpose helps you in using all available resources in achieving your goals.”
Pastor and Author
Actions you can take
Examine or audit your investment in innovation. Try to assess the investment in each cell of the Ansoff matrix. Be rigorous about your classification because your competitors may be innovating or “pivoting” just to survive. Look for an outside source to provide some objective feedback on investment of people, funds and assets. Don’t hesitate to ask for help in making your organization more adaptable, and your strategy embedded with options to pivot based on market shifts. You could start with an underperforming product or brand.
How we can help
We are your experts at identifying trends, creating scenarios and building monitoring systems. We’ve done this kind of work for over 20 years, and bring a wealth of experience, and tools, to the task. You don’t have to go into scenario planning alone; we can be your coach and mentor to speed learning, and success.
For more on how to include trends in your planning, I’ve created a “how-to” that you can adapt for your team. See my Status Quo Risk Management Playbook.
Forbes Posts- Hartung on Leadership, Investing, Trends