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Competing for Growth: How Business is Growing Beyond Boundaries
The competing for growth model is an effective framework to help management understand its comparative position in responding to the new economic reality.
The challenge is great, but competitive success is more likely for those companies that achieve the optimal balance between their customer reach, operational agility, cost competitiveness and stakeholder confidence.
Our most recent research has reinforced our belief in the value of the framework. Its application can be seen to drive high performance in achieving profitable and organic growth from the three core sources:
In new markets
High performers approach new markets through a deep understanding of their target customers. They have broadened the range of their products and developed them close to their markets to better meet their needs. They move pricing as close to the market as possible and as much under their control as possible. And they take their stakeholders with them - through clear and specific communication about both markets and challenges.
In product and service innovation
High performers approach new product and service development faster and closer to the market so that they can get further up the
value curve and secure better prices for their efforts. They achieve this performance through more inclusive innovation approaches
that extend beyond product development. And they take their stakeholders with them by sharing more detail on the potential of
their innovation - and the progress they are making with it.
In talent management
High performers approach their talent resources with the same intensity that they approach their customers. Successfully accessing wider groups allows them to build the diversity that they need. Recognising that their talent is an asset to protect, they select carefully and pay more to retain - while recognising that pay is only part of the implied contract that such talent demands.
The actions within these three areas may differ, but they all result from a company having an integrated view of its distinctive growth
opportunity and executing it effectively across their organisation. This, in turn, stems from having a powerful positioning that resonates in the market and with both internal and external stakeholders. For positioning, like market leadership, is a tool rather than just a goal. It is the result of management action and can be changed. By studying the actions of others, management can be better placed to improve their own position.
For the purposes of our research, we have treated the three sources of organic growth as separate, but in reality, they overlap into a suite of connected opportunities and challenges. To grow successfully, companies need to look beyond these boundaries - indeed way beyond their own current boundaries - to identify their future path. Going forward, Ernst & Young plans a number of future studies to drill down further into the global growth agenda.