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"The best recipe for sustained, profitable growth is simple in its basic concept. It requires a capabilities-driven approach — making the most of what you already do well — that goes well beyond traditional market-back approaches, which try to deliver whatever the outside world seems to need.
Thus, before you pursue growth directly, you should have in place the three elements of a clearly defined, coherent strategy: (1) a value proposition that resonates with customers, supported by (2) a system of distinctive capabilities, combined in a way that competitors can’t match, with (3) a portfolio of products and services that are all aligned to the first two elements. You must also be able to deliver on that value proposition, translating concept into competitive position with a viable, sustainable business model that generates profits and cash flow.
You can grow profitably and sustainably only from a position of strength. If your enterprise is struggling to maintain its economic lifelines, then foundational work on strategy, organization, cost optimization, or other factors is needed before any new growth strategy can succeed. Companies that enter new businesses to escape a weak position generally become weaker still, because they move into markets where they lack the capabilities needed to succeed.
Let’s say you have that position of strength to start from: a capabilities-driven strategy and the wherewithal to exploit it. From there, you can chart a course toward sustainable and profitable expansion by combining four approaches to growth:
1. In-market leverage: seeking out new growth opportunities among your existing customers in your core market as currently defined.
2. Near-market expansion: pursuing opportunities in unfamiliar sectors or with new products. This approach is also known as expansion through adjacencies.
3. Disruptive growth: responding to dramatic change with entirely new business models and capabilities if and as appropriate. Though important at times, this is rarer than many businesspeople think and should be undertaken only if you have a clear idea of how to link your existing capabilities system to the new one you will need.
4. Capability development: building distinctive organizational proficiency in a way that supports the other three forms of growth. This can be accomplished through a variety of means, including M&A, innovation, and operations improvements.
Trechos retirados de "Grow from Your Strengths"