Is Continuous Growth Really Possible?: Forcing Breakpoints in Your Business


This week’s focal point: Everything from biological organisms to new technologies to social norms are confined to a lifecycle. Consider the human lifecycle. From the day we’re born we are growing and maturing. At a certain point that growth and maturity slows, plateaus, declines, and eventually ends in death. It is the same for businesses and organizations. Some have a longer lifecycle than others, but eventually that lifecycle will lead to decline if we are not forcing breakpoints where the business lifecycle begins anew. I’ve identified four distinct stages a business will go through:

Idea Launch is the birth or inception stage of the organization. A great deal of time and energy is spent on trial and error, discovering where and how to walk. As you can imagine, many businesses and organizations never make it past this stage. This is often the result of bad investment, minimal access to capital, strategic competency deficit, or bankruptcy.

Growth & Monetization is the stage where businesses and organizations have learned from their mistakes and have taken corrective action to ensure they do not repeat those mistakes. During this stage businesses and organizations are on an upward trajectory continuously looking to better themselves and improve their condition.

Crossroads is the stage where businesses and organizations are able to leverage their recognition as experts and leaders in their industry. During this stage these businesses and organizations are increasing their value by continuously looking for ways to improve the condition of others. It is during this stage where breakpoints must occur in order to create new and continuous growth.

Plateau and Decline is the stage where businesses and organizations have not forced those breakpoints and, rather than continuing to grow, they begin to plateau and decline. At this stage businesses and organizations are experiencing loss in market share, revenue, and strategic competency, ultimately leading to irrelevance.

Identifying which stage of the business lifecycle you are in equips you to:
  1. Formulate high impact goals that are achievable in a relatively short amount of time.
  2. Establish realistic expectations to measure your progress toward achieving those goals.
  3. Avoid the “urgency trap,” which can inhibit you from going beyond “business as usual.”
  4. Continuously increase your strategic competency, successfully forcing new breakpoints in your business.

The Fulcrum: The key for an organization to create continuous growth is to consciously and actively participate in it’s own evolution. When you are aware of an approaching crossroads in your business, you will be prepared to force new breakpoints and anticipate areas for dramatic growth.

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© J.P Nichols & Associates Inc. 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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