Looking for the secret of growth?
Here are some key takeaways from our Survey: “The Quest for Growth 2019”, in which we interviewed 50 C-Suite executives from leading Swiss brands to uncover sources, levers and capabilities needed to build successful businesses.
Growth priorities: Invest in Innovation and Customer Engagement
For companies the top priority is expanding the reach of their products, be it finding new customers in existing or new markets or selling more to the current client base. However, innovation – in terms of developing new products and services – is, not surprisingly, seen as critical for growth. Engaging more effectively with customers follows in the Top 3 of nearly half of the respondents, underlining the importance of (re)gaining touch with their clients.
Interestingly, the same respondents that focus on classic growth discipline identify people and culture development as the main lever to achieve this goal. The human dimension of growth and transformation is key. But decisions can’t be left to intuition, as most participants see their widest capability gap in taking evidence-based decisions.
At BOLDT, we believe that the path to growth comes through innovation and customer engagement. To strengthen the motivation for change, businesses need to explore opportunities along the micro-moments of the customer journey and start a real dialogue with their client base. With an iterative, prototype-based methodology, we focus on getting concrete business results rapidly – as they can alone trigger transformation.
Levers: People & Culture Development is Key to Digital Transformation
Next to strengthening the brand, people development and cultural change are seen as playing a key role in technical growth priorities. But, together, the answers “leveraging technology”, “digitising client-facing activities” and “optimising internal processes” play a paramount role for 26% of the interviewees.
In short, our survey participants believe that – next to branding – more ambitious transformation is needed to achieve sustainable growth: developing people and culture goes hand in hand with the digitisation process. This is especially the case for those respondents who set innovation in their Top 3 growth priorities for 2019. Additionally, measuring innovation is decisive, as most interviewees say they need to improve their capability to gather and interpret data.
At BOLDT, we believe that business transformation can be accelerated. Externally, there are many ways to leverage technology to strengthen your brand and achieve growth, including the so-called “growth hacking” approach. Internally, it is necessary to engage all employees in a broader cultural change. On both fronts, developing a data mindset is key to success.
Capabilities to improve: Be Distinctive by Learning from Customer and Data
Which capability is needed most to achieve growth in 2019? Our respondents see the largest potential in their ability to provide great customer experience and gather the corresponding data. This allows companies to be distinctive and evolve into learning organisms, feeding on evidence gained from data.
This is particularly the case for those C-Suite survey participants who name “engaging customer” in their Top 3 growth priorities. More interestingly, the majority of them also name branding as the key lever to achieve that. But engaging customers with stronger branding doesn’t mean spending intuitively – taking evidence-based decisions is the most important capability to improve.
At BOLDT, we believe that companies that want to perform well need to put customers and their data at the core of every transformation. The “inside-out” thinking has to be replaced by an “outside-in” mindset. We help build this kind of innovation and collaboration culture by training executives and key employees, improving the company’s internal capabilities for the long-run. As an example, in collaboration with Stanford University’s dGlobal programme,we have developed a course which enables companies to learn the Stanford Design Way and apply it to their specific context.