Growth through focus
The sun generates a tremendous amount of energy, but only gives us a warm glow. By contrast, a laser beam that uses a few kilowatts of energy can cut through metal. Such is the power of focus. If you are running a large global business with a big portfolio, adding a new product or brand is no guarantee for growth. To succeed in your business, you must harness the power of focus.
Many business leaders continue to seek growth by extending their existing product lines and brands, as well as by entering new geographic regions. After all, growth is supposed to be about ‘more’. However, this strategy increases the complexity of the organisation and its operations. In business ‘less is more’. Recently, big global companies prefer to pursue growth through focus and concentrate on their core business. Kraft Foods, Unilever, and Fonterra Brands (a dairy products business based in New Zealand) analysed their business on three continents over a ten year period. Thereafter, all three companies deliberately focussed on fewer markets, brands, and categories and they achieved impressive revenue and profit expansion. Their conclusion: discover what works well and concentrate on that. Just make fewer but larger bets.
The logic of growth through focus also demands a different attitude towards planning. Many companies make long-term strategic plans and quickly switch if results fail. It should be the opposite: don’t linger on analysing and discussing. Plan quickly and stay on course for a long time. Focus relentlessly on executing a simple but powerful vision.
Where is your focus at the moment?