Era of Business Disruption-Why C-Suite Needs To Focus On An Organic Growth Strategy

Era of Business Disruption-Why C-Suite Needs To Focus On An Organic Growth Strategy

Time was when successful experience shaped by years of competing in the market and a solid grounding in business processes and finance made for a good C-level candidate. This type of leader who could "rally the troops" was something every company wanted on center stage. However, that was also a time when markets and competition were much more predictable—a time when consumers had fewer choices and when the economy was more dynamic and insulated from foreign events.

Today's C-level executive is faced with a less robust economy that looks to be relatively tepid for several years. Additional challenges include hyper competition from online marketers, consumers who are skittish about their current economic status, uncertain about the future, less loyal than ever, and have a new set of buying behaviors that can change or be influenced by the latest breaking news over cable or Internet. Keeping ahead of the herd and meeting competitive challenges are keys for C-level success today. Old maxims like "location, location, location" have been derailed by digital players who have only virtual locations.

In the retail world and in many others, old business models have been disrupted and the C-level's need for information and availability has never been greater. And yet a recent article in the Harvard Business Review noted that a study of 51 companies found that those who consistently use data are "few and far between." However, the study also showed that those companies who have a "culture of evidence-based decision making have all seen improvements in business performance."

There are many reasons for this disconnect, ranging from corporate culture, organization expertise, availability of good information, cost, time, risk, history, fear of change, etc. As we have written about in the past "not all decisions are worth doing well" and unfortunately, many data decision systems seem to be focused on the wrong decisions—the small ones that won't make or break a company. The amount of corporate resources invested in these types of low-level decision systems have not, in many cases, delivered the types of return on investment hoped for.

As a result, the C-level has been largely overlooked. In the big data world, however, senior level decision makers need key strategic insights now—not 18 months from now—to meet the dynamic challenges of today's market. Collaboration among key members who comprise the C-suite requires a common set of information/insights to make evidence-based decisions regarding corporate strategy.

New cloud-based software services provide information/insights apps readily available for the C-level. By integrating data from numerous sources, analyzing the data and visualizing it in easy-to-read charts and graphs, the C-level is just a click away from having the intelligence necessary to make evidence-based decisions. For example, executives can now monitor key elements of their business each month covering areas such as the impact of the economy on customers and their future spending with them and their competitors, plus how well their brand is performing. They can also view such things as what is motivating their customers to shop their stores or their competitors, which media channels do customers say influence them to spend, and how to influence customers of competitors to leave.

In tough times, the C-suite has tended to fall back on financial engineering practices like cost cutting, stock buy backs, merging and acquiring, splitting up companies into new divisions, etc. While these efforts may look good on paper and may work in the short term, organic growth that generates sustainable revenues and profits must not be abandoned. Today, new cloud-based intelligence services that integrate and analyze data offer a new way to jump start organic growth and drive sustainable revenues and profits. They provide the total market intelligence required for better strategy, development and ongoing decision making necessary for sustainable growth of revenue and profits.

This article was written by Gary Drenik from Forbes.

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