The Growth Hack No One Talks About

Stoke Consulting - Executive Coaching | Leadership Development

Why do so many mid-sized businesses struggle to achieve sustained growth? Often, a year or so of high growth is followed by stagnation. More pointedly, why do we see so many under new management businesses experience renewed growth? 


Through years of working with such businesses, patterns have emerged. 


First, leaders often grossly miscalculate the size of their current available market. Most commonly, they underestimate the potential of their current products/ services and markets combination. This leads them to seek growth elsewhere. In some cases, this is compounded by looking in several places at once. Growth initiatives are time consuming and initially add more cost than incremental margin. Soon the lure of growth wanes.  


Second, is the challenge of adding capacity ahead (and just ahead) of demand. An error in either direction is problematic. Either poor customer service or costs running ahead of margin result. I’ve consistently seen inadequate attention to building and timing of required order fulfilment capacity.  


Third, is leadership behaviours. Growth requires consistent senior management attention. Which must come from somewhere. This means some aspects of the day-to-day will need to be delegated. I have seen the fear of losing control holding back many growth initiatives.  


As a final observation there are the lessons from the Yerkes-Dobson work. They found a linkage between anxiety and performance. The core idea is that we have a “Goldilocks Zone” of arousal. Too little anxiety, and you remain in the ‘comfort’ zone, where boredom sets in. But too much anxiety, and you enter the ‘panic’ zone, which also stalls progress. So, manage the level of growth anxiety in yourself, your team and your business and growth performance will come. 


Seeking sustained growth in your business?  Learn more about these observations and the successful remedies that have been employed by contacting Kevin.

Kevin Wallace
Stoke Consulting

Kevin guides business leaders through their toughest challenges to achieve their goals.  With a deep understanding of organisational issues and a broad business knowledge base, Kevin is a valuable external asset to any team. His talent for deep listening helps him uncover root causes and develop tailored solutions. Kevin thrives on complexity and brings proven concepts, applied experience, and personalisation to every project.