In business standing still is not an option. Yet many managers fail to address the factors that can stall growth and prevent change. Tackling the structural and cultural barriers to growth is key to success.
Most managers are focused on driving performance. They also want to accelerate innovation, strategy and change – among other things.
Yet managers are often frustrated in the attempts to accelerate growth. There are many things that have the potential to slow them down.
Some of the barriers to acceleration are in the minds of managers and their teams. That can make them the most difficult barriers to overcome. They include inertia, politics, fear of failure and resistance to change.
However in addition to the ‘mental speed bumps’ there are also a range of more structural factors that limit growth. These include processes and procedures, hierarchies and controls and tend to be most prevalent in larger and longer established organisations.
In his book ‘Urgency’ Phillip Kotter presents a helpful checklist for managers whose strategies for growth risk being stalled. Look out for these factors – they are hallmarks of strategies and change projects that are likely to fail.
So, how many of the factors listed above existing with your organization, department or team? The number depends on which line your company is likely to follow in the diagram below. Accelerating growth will require breaking free of the various barriers to growth.
To accelerate growth requires replacing inertia with urgency. It also requires creating a bias towards; action, agility and innovation.
Accelerating growth also requires a new approach to strategy and execution – what we call FAST strategy. Without it your strategy and how it is implemented is also likely to slow you down.