Overwhelmingly, CEOs’ mission-critical priorities over the last few years have been and continue to be dominated by growth. Their focus is increasingly on digital, and if you consider the combination of growth and information technology, what we call GROWIT, this represents a very high percentage of the priority focus for CEOs in 2015.
What is GROWIT?
Growth can mean many things, but for Fortune 500 CEOs in 2015 it mainly means moving into new geographies and new markets. Within the IT part of GROWIT there is more and more impetus around the shift into digital.
More CEOs see digital as having a disruptively deep impact than those who don’t and the vast majority of CEO’s feel that technology innovation is accelerating faster and faster.
Against this backdrop, our focus when working as transformation coaches with CEOs is to help them achieve rapid or hyper growth by utilising the Universal Rules of Exponential Scaling.
We help them focus by keeping things simple, by reducing things down to their essence and making them measurable, repeatable and improvable. At EXOscalr we make use of a very, very simple scaling algorithm – scaling involves adding fuel and removing friction.
The higher the fuel:friction differential, the higher their company’s growth velocity.
Let’s use talent as an example. Talent is an essential area that CEOs focus on to generate the fuel needed for growth. At EXOscalr we optimise the ability of our clients to attract and retain top talent through the use of the Talent Density Algorithm – essentially,
– the higher their talent density, the less requirement for process, and
– the higher their process, the lower their top talent retention.
In this respect, top talent becomes a magnet for other top talent, fuelling business growth. In contrast, companies that are too process heavy and too bureaucratically organized contain too many frictions for top talent either to want to work there or to stay working there.
It’s very important to understand that the Fuel/Friction differential will change over time. This is the whole point and we encourage CEOs and other business leaders to get granular with how they measure, monitor and progress their interaction with this differential.
What can CEOs do to improve their Fuel:Friction Differential?
CEOs can take control of the Fuel:Friction Differential by engaging with their executive team as follows:
- In regular exec team meetings, let’s say weekly*, they throw up on a board all the factors that are holding the company back, and the opportunities they have to push it forward.
- The team quickly diagnoses the current balance of Fuel/Friction forces, then ranks the items by their impact and ease of execution. Priority is given to the high-impact, low-difficulty items first, and they spend the next week addressing these forces. As the Fuel/Friction equation improves, the company is set to grow faster.
- Repeat. Regularly.
* [We suggest the frequency of these meetings should depend how much growth features as a company’s mission critical priority – if it is imperative and the urgency is being driven by facing corporate extinction because of competitive threat, for example, then weekly meetings may not be the right frequency, daily may be more suitable.]