Four Decisions for Growth – Part Two

Four Decisions for Growth - Part Two

By: Dave Baney

As a Certified Gazelles Coach  (one of only 45 worldwide) I work with clients using a method developed by Verne Harnish that is referred to as the “Four Decisions.” 

In business, “Gazelles” are growth firms, they are job generators that will do the most to get our national economy back on track and the leaders of these growth firms continue to grow their businesses despite uncertain times. Gazelles by definition are those organizations that grow by 20% or more each year for at least 5 years in a row. In order to be a Gazelle, you must get these four decisions right: people, strategy, execution & cash. At any given time the challenges in one of these four areas may over shadow the rest, therefore you’re looking to choose which one of the four to focus on next. 

Our previous post was about people. This week’s post is about STRATEGY:

Strategy is a powerful fundamental principle of a business. Companies may have the best products or provide the best services but, without a vision and a plan, there is no growth. Strategy provides the direction the company will take over time to expand and drive profitability. The result of getting your strategy right is top line revenue growth.

Strategy challenges are indicated by slowing of your revenue growth. If you are not growing at the pace that you used to or if your revenue is not growing as quickly as you’d like then it’s the right time to re-examine your strategy. Your strategy is what you’re selling to whom. 

It’s important to have a very concise articulation of your strategy, one that your people clearly understand so that everyone can be aligned and on the same page without wasting sales or operational energies on activities that aren’t useful to the business. 

In his book “Good to Great”, author Jim Collins calls this articulated strategy a company’s hedgehog. Others call it their unique selling proposition or USP or a brand promise. It really doesn’t matter what you choose to call it, you know you’ve nailed it when your revenue grows as rapidly as you want. 

Two critical things to remember…strategies must be adaptable to changing circumstances and they should encompass the values and the purpose and competencies of the organizations. 

If you’re great at building widgets then your strategies should somehow embrace the building of widgets. If you’re terrible on the other hand at making pens then your strategy shouldn’t involve the making of pens. 

So what is it you’re good at? 

What is it that really excites you about being in business and what is it that gives you an advantage over your competitors so that you can really drive your business to the next level

Strategy doesn’t need to be complex… just simple and consistent. Even with the best strategy, a business will not grow if its plan is not executed. Get your strategy straight and make sure your people are aligned behind it and focus being great at execution which by the way is part three. We will talk about execution in our next post.

Dave Baney brings over 30 years of Fortune 500 management and leadership experience to growing businesses nationwide through 55 Questions’ tools and processes. Known for crisp execution, marketing insight and thoughtful direction, he is now a trusted advisor for CEOs. Contact Dave directly: