Knocking Down the Barriers to Growth

Scott Francis
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Harvard Business Review’s recent article by Chris Zook puts the spotlight on the greatest barriers to growth for businesses, according to their own executives

It’s a compelling read, and if you work in any business you will recognize the symptoms to varying degrees in your own organization:

It’s a common story in business today. Eighty-five percent of executives say that the greatest barriers to achieving their growth objectives lie inside their own four walls, according to research by Bain & Company. In the largest companies, this rises to 94 percent of executives who believe that their most difficult challenges are internal, not external.

The whole article kicks off with an anecdote about one company, where the front line jobs have gone from the best jobs to the worst jobs.  Many of these problems stem from poor implementation of business bureaucracy and, dare I say, process: “Most of these barriers resulted from complexity and bureaucracy that had accumulated as these leaders scaled up their businesses.”

Unfortunately, growth creates complexity, and complexity acts as friction against that growth.  Implementing a support system has the benefit of making a business more efficient and faster to communicate – but has the downside of becoming tomorrow’s technical debt and friction – most software isn’t meant to adapt to ever-changing business process needs.

When you read through the article, it becomes apparent that the critical elements needing attention to maintain growth are:

  • streamlining processes
  • streamlining decision management
  • visibility – to how the processes work and decisions are made
  • time squandered on making up for the lack of the first three.

And these are the prerogatives that drive the adoption of business process and decision management technologies and methods – which just happens to be the business BP3 hangs our hats on. 

 

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