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Growing a company isn’t easy under the best of circumstances.  Growing an established company by double digits is a rare feat, especially on a year-in-year-out basis.  Ask yourself what would it take to grow 10%?  Likely it would take a series of initiatives ad investments, perhaps being able to snag some top notched talent, maybe raising prices by building in more value, and an acquisition or two.  Even then, the challenge inherent in successful execution of multiple initiatives, having adequate resources, blocking competitive response, and getting the entire organization moving forward in an aligned fashion may feel overwhelming.  It is an incredible amount of work, if it can be done at all, and is certainly not without risks.

How about a bigger growth challenge

;Now, let’s make it interesting.  What if the goal is to increase by a factor of 10 instead of by 10%?  How would you approach that?  Would you be thinking about how to stretch your current business to get there or would  you have to envision a different company – the current company on steroids?  Maybe the core business becomes one of several divisions.  Maybe your local company goes global.  Or maybe your products are sold across multiple markets rather than one.  Would it be a lot of work?  You betcha!  Could it be done?  Absolutely!  It is not without challenges; yet are the challenges greater or just different?

New possibilities for growth

Once we push past the tendency to think in increments of growth and start thinking about pedal-to-the-medal growth, we open up whole new possibilities to consider.  We think about the potential of the business differently.

Improve or transform?

There are significant challenges in either growth scenario.  The work will be hard, resources will be stretched and the outcome not guaranteed.  One choice may improve the company; the other may transform it.  If you are going to subject yourself, your colleagues and the employees to one of these options, which one gives the greatest rewards?

Thinking bigger isn’t necessarily harder

The point is simply this; thinking bigger isn’t necessarily harder and in the process of doing so, it often opens up new opportunities we would have never considered.  Whether your stretch goal is 10%, 2x or 10x growth, challenge the team to go beyond the point that comes naturally, tweaking what you already do.  There is tremendous gold to be mined by stretching the growth goal past the obvious to the (at first) incomprehensible.

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