The first step in a growth strategy? It's probably not what you think. According to Peter Drucker, "The first step in a growth policy is not to decide where and how to grow. It is to decide what to abandon (Inside Drucker's Brain, p. 101)."
Uh oh. Is that what happens in your management team meeting? Are you first deciding what to abandon? Most of us would have to admit that the first part of the conversation is about the next growth initiative…what we're going to do and how we're going to do it.
What about you? Think about your last few meetings where next steps were on the table. Didn't you start right in talking about what was next and then lay out the steps that lead to there? Just asking for trouble if you listen to Drucker. Why? Although counter intuitive, it is the ability to ruthlessly "abandon yesterday's breadwinner even before one really wants to, even before one has to," that gives room for innovation.
No budget for the next thing? No time for the next thing? No energy for the next thing? Could it be that yesterday's breadwinner is on it's way out…is in decline…but it goes unacknowledged? Might still be "winning" but is actually winning the wrong game?
Could it be time for abandonment? Could it be time for a purposeful discussion that starts in a different place?