In a recent presentation on Goodmorning BSN!, Frodo Korff, a seasoned consultant with a remarkable track record in scaling small and medium-sized businesses, shared valuable insights on managing the rollercoaster ride of growth. With a focus on his experience as the CEO of a rapidly expanding retailer, Frodo delved into the challenges and strategies associated with sustaining growth. 

The Volatile Landscape for SMEs

Frodo acknowledges the volatile environment in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operate. He highlights two prominent challenges faced by these businesses: limited access to capital and the complexities surrounding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations. The ever-evolving landscape, coupled with regulatory uncertainties, often leaves SMEs grappling with strategic decisions to secure their future.

The Minority of Fast-Growth Firms

Despite the hurdles, Frodo points out that only a minority of SMEs experience sustained high-growth over an extended period. This leads to a critical question: What sets these fast-growth firms apart from the rest? Clearly there is a critical need for a dynamic approach to managing growth – a process Frodo refers to as “growth hacking.”

The Three Pillars of Growth Hacking

Frodo points out three crucial elements that form the foundation of growth hacking: a growth mindset, a growth team, and a growth strategy. According to academic research, sustainable growth necessitates simultaneous investments in these three pillars. Neglecting any one of them can impede a company’s ability to achieve and maintain high growth.

Moving Beyond Traditional Strategies

As a company progresses through different stages of development, there is an existing tendency to focus on traditional strategies such as product/service optimisation and logistical enhancements. While these may yield some results, Frodo argues that they often fall short of driving substantial, sustainable growth.

The Evolution of Attention: Strategy, Team, and Mindset

Frodo describes a common progression in a company’s attention as it grows. Initially, the focus is on refining business strategy, followed by scrutiny of the team’s capabilities. However, tangible results may remain elusive until attention shifts to the growth mindset of the leadership – the founders, owners, and management.

Returning to the Fundamentals

To address this, Frodo suggests returning to the fundamentals of the company through a more personal dialogue. By asking founders and owners about their initial dreams, frustrations, and motivations, a deeper understanding of the company’s essence emerges. This shift from impersonal strategy talk to personal conversations rekindles the internal motivation of the stakeholders.

Creating Organisational Flow

Through these personal conversations, companies can create a unique organisational flow. Team members become more connected to the founders’ dreams, finding new ways to contribute meaningfully. This alignment often leads to the discovery of new strategic horizons and, in some cases, a shift towards more sustainable business practices.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Energy or Motivation Problems: Many business challenges are, at their core, energy or motivation problems. Recognising and addressing these issues can unlock new possibilities for growth.
  2. Identifying True Drivers: To solve motivation problems, stakeholders must delve beyond competencies and ask themselves, their teams, and their management about what truly drives them.
  3. Organisational Flow: The answers obtained through these introspective conversations pave the way for creating an organisational flow, aligning founders, management, team, and strategy. This alignment, in turn, facilitates smoother execution of strategic plans.

Frodo’s presentation provided a compelling framework for managing the rollercoaster of growth. By emphasising the interconnectedness of a growth mindset, a growth team, and a growth strategy, he offered actionable insights that SMEs can apply to navigate the complexities of the business landscape and achieve sustainable growth.

Join us every Tuesday morning at 08:15 CET for an insightful discussion on Goodmorning BSN! Zoom ID: 6410148920

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