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The challenge:

Leadership can be too removed from customers and delivery of new growth focused services and products, which creates a significant risk.

Specific risks include:

– customers may be disappointed and leave,

– new brands and programs launched may get a bad reputation due to bad processes and delivery,

– strong talent tied to new initiatives may leave as they see faulty programs being executed.

Background:

Corporate growth requires doing new things and breaking new ground. Some initiatives are more ambitious and some are less. There are new promises made. New products and solutions sold. New ways of engaging with customers. Processes in the back must be changed.
It’s impossible to predict it all in advance and as such iteration is a key requirement.
When companies launch new initiatives these can be risky to the organization. The higher risk programs should have tighter governance and executive oversight.

Practical considerations:

1. With high-risk initiatives I recommend leadership to be more heavily involved. In the extreme case they may lead the first few execution of the initiatives, but more realistically one might suggest they sit in and participate in the key processes. With leadership observing and understanding the details it will be clear to them if outcomes are met, value delivered and customers are happy.

If leadership stays too high level they may never be exposed to the critical details and the initiative may fail earlier than the errors are discovered by the leadership team.

  1. Use data to accelerate feedback loops and take action
    Companies must use data to help them understand the critical aspects of the initiative, typically:
    a. Customer value delivered and created (Increase in revenue, cost reductions, customer experience improvements)
    b. Customer satisfaction (NPS score, brand, and loyalty)
    c. Value delivered to the company (Revenue and Pipeline, Brand, Customer relationship)
    d. Resources required to deliver (cost to execute)
    E. Personel satisfaction and motivation

A simple survey is often enough to get a good understanding of the impact to the KPI’s.

Conclusion:

With growth comes risk. Leadership should be aware of the levels of risk and monitor the initiatives accordingly.
Secondly companies must use data to inform and guide them.