Executing Your Growth Plan

By Tom Bixby, President & CEO, LEVEL Management Partners
Published March 31, 2016

Our 4-part series on Growth Vision began with defining Growth Vision. We continued by describing how to develop one and plan to achieve that vision. In Part 4, our Growth Vision series concludes by discussing successful execution of your Growth Plan.

Leading your Growth Journey

Armed with a solid Growth Plan we discussed in Part 3, you are ready to begin your journey to achieve your new Growth Vision. Avoid the common trap of putting your Growth Plan on a shelf in your office and becoming immersed in daily business operations. It is critical that you maintain momentum toward the long-term goal by working the plan you have made.

This is where leadership comes into play. Share your Growth Vision with your entire organization and commit to reporting progress on a regular, frequent basis. You’ll need to count on them to do their part when called upon to help execute the plan. And your people will need you to maintain your Growth Vision commitment, as they will naturally see that growth as a source of new opportunity for everyone in the company.

Patrick Vaca, Executive and Leadership Consultant with Patrick Vaca Consulting and member of the LEVEL Expert Network™ shared his thoughts about the importance of communicating your vision.

“Oftentimes, a leader's vision gets translated down through an organization by filtration. One leader's vision becomes another's watered down version. Don't fall victim to this common pitfall. By creating and documenting your growth vision so that others understand why it's important to you, what it looks like, and how it will be implemented will align your team's values to your own. This is how you get commitment.”

Managing organizational change

Value growth comes from persistent, deliberate organizational change. Doing things better, faster, and smarter means doing things differently. Short-term disruption will happen, but the effective change leadership will minimize negative impact.

The core of effective change management is detailed planning and clear, consistent and frequent communication. Make certain you have a complete understanding of how changes will impact people and process across the company. Allow sufficient time to review or develop process maps defining your current business processes. You’ll then be prepared to overlay details of your Growth Plan to establish new or “future-state” process maps. As you move through this activity, you’ll easily recognize where changes will impact what people do, so you can provide the necessary training and other resources needed to make the changes successful.

Change management is vital to achieving your growth goals. If you do not have experienced change managers inside your company, go outside to secure that talent. The scope and duration of your growth program will determine whether to hire permanent resources or contract with consultants.

Integrating growth initiatives into management process

When the management team transitions from planning to executing the growth vision plan, each prioritized recommendation becomes a unique goal-oriented project with its own timeline and budget. This keeps close tabs on project spending and leads to expected results for the investment towards overall growth.

As with any major company initiative, make certain you have identified someone from your leadership team to be the champion for that initiative, to see that needed resources are available, progress is steady, and change management discipline is maintained. That champion will report progress at each management meeting, ensuring awareness of continued success and preparations for upcoming activities across each functional area.

Adriana McLane, Growth Strategist with The A. M. Insight and member of the LEVEL Expert Network™, advises that it's important to incorporate an adaptability mindset, as actual results from growth initiatives may vary from subtle to spectacular.

“Assumptions are a necessary part of the growth planning process and it's possible that some assumptions may be incorrect or no longer hold true. Ensuring your process allows for adjustments to the plan or even pivots when required is critical. Growth initiative results may exceed expectations and may occasionally fall short, and you should be prepared to adapt to any outcome.”

Celebrating success

As you are able to mark successful completion of each growth initiative, take that opportunity to celebrate your success. Remind all within your company of the Growth Vision and how this success is an important milestone on the journey toward that Growth Vision. Recognize and reward those who made that success possible by contributing their talent and passion, in ways both large and small.

Your Growth Plan may initially seem daunting. Your confidence will grow each and every time you celebrate success. With each milestone you celebrate, reflect on how each success would not be possible without your Growth Vision!

This concludes Level Management Partners’ four-part article series on Growth Vision. We hope this information helps to inspire business owners to re-evaluate their own vision for their company’s potential, challenge assumptions and limiting beliefs, and set course for greater success and a more valuable enterprise.

How healthy is your business? What changes might drive sustainable growth?
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