Make Someone Accountable for Growth

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The axiom that “everyone is responsible, therefore no one is accountable” indicates that no one is really accountable for business growth. Implementing and adopting growth-focused practices, what we call the Mechanics of Growth, helps companies to “do the right things” and “do the right things right” to consistently generate revenue opportunities and strategic growth outcomes. Within GrowthThinking, Principle 18 proposes that companies should be deliberate about identifying a senior leader that is accountable for growth. This is particularly important for generating strategic growth outcomes outside of the existing business base and creating the environmental, structural and cultural conditions where growth can be sustained.

The Chief Growth Officer role is a growing title in consumer markets for an executive who is accountable for accelerating revenue and sustaining growth.  However, it should be noted that, while Chief Growth Officers (or equivalents) have joined leading companies such as Colgate Palmolive, Zurich Financial Services, Hershey Company, H.J. Heinz, and Interpublic Group, it may not be necessary, or recommended, to add yet another “C-level” executive to existing leadership teams. Specifically, an existing Chief Strategy Officer, equipped with new CGO-type responsibilities, resources and tools, is properly placed in the organization to shape how companies achieve the explicit goal of delivering growth beyond their core businesses.  Companies aspiring to be Growth Enterprises should explore and ask these questions:

1) Who is responsible for growth? Where does it sit in an organization?

2) Who is responsible for fostering cultural change and creating the environmental conditions where revenue and growth can be achieve and sustained?

3) Who is responsible for translating the chief executive’s vision into opportunities for future revenue and growth, communicating the vision, and guiding the company to realize that vision?

4) Who is responsible for appropriating and aligning the corporate resources necessary for the company to execute a growth strategy and strengthening the company’s future growth posture?

5) Who is responsible for inspiring the organization to convert uncertainty, structural change and complexity into new revenue opportunities and improved future growth prospects?

(Excerpt from GrowthThinking: Building the New Growth Enterprise)

Author:  Keary Crawford

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