Episode 4 : The 4 D’s of Growth Planning

The 4 Ds of growth planning: Drivers, Demands, Disciplines, and Decisions offers a framework for a proven business growth method that achieves results.

This framework comes from Verne Harnish’s book Scaling Up, a book about how to grow your company and how to plan for the growth of your company. Let’s dive in!

Part 1 : Growth Planning Drivers

Part 1: Growth Planning Drivers

by Patty Lawrence | TurboCharge Your Business

Drivers are the framework for the organization’s growth.

  • Leaders in the company who drive the implementation of good habits and ways of doing things within the organization, with their respective teams. They mobilize their own teams to execute on certain things.
  • Continuous learning in the organization. The teaching of certain principles and habits to teams helps them perform at their highest and best.
  • Technology, which enables us to do things better, quicker, and faster. It often gives us more robust information to better make decisions and it provides us with a platform to measure numbers and make choices based on those numbers.
  • Habits. What habits will help you drive towards your growth goals?

These are some of the key habits (AKA best practices) we need to instill in our teams in order to function as growth drivers in the business:

  • Alignment with business goals. Everyone in your business needs to be in alignment on the number one priority for the quarter that will move the company forward. When everyone is on the same page, they can play their part in the movie.
  • Communication. Communication should be robust, effective, and at a particular cadence.
  • Accountability. Each person needs accountability and to understand their role in achieving the growth plan.
  • Feedback loop. Team members need to be able to voice what obstacles and opportunities are in their path.
  • Reporting and analysis of data. We need to have the technology platforms to support the business’ growth and let us know exactly where we are (and how far we still have to go).
  • Alignment with our core values and purpose. At TurboExecs, alignment = velocity. We can get there farther and faster if we all work together and are aligned with our purpose.
  • Objectives. These should be communicated to the team so we know we’re all pulling for the same goal.
  • Measuring plans and performance. Those results need to get posted front and center so everyone understands the metrics and how close or far we got to our goals.

Part 2 : Growth Planning Demands

Part 2: Growth Planning Demands

by Patty Lawrence | TurboCharge Your Business

The people element isn’t just the people inside your business. We’re also talking about your customers, investors, and/or stakeholders. In terms of our employees, how do we manage those people? People are a resource and we need to look at them as both a whole person and a member of the team.

What are their roles and functions within the company? How do we break that down into tasks? What are the role responsibilities? How do people function within the company at a high level? We want our team functioning at the highest possible level for our company.

The same holds true with our customers. Happy team members functioning at a high level with high job satisfaction treat our customers well. Think of the front line folks answering your phones.

When those people are happy, they’ll answer the phone with a smile and you can hear it through the phone! That’s the energy we want conveyed into our concentric circles. The other circle that comes out from that is community. How are we engaging with and supporting the community? Are we good corporate stewards?

We want to make sure we’re walking the talk internally with our team and externally with our customers and community, whether it’s our shareholder community or the community at large where our team lives and works.

The second piece of this balancing act is process. When we look at process, we’re actually analyzing productivity. That’s why there needs to be a balancing act between the people and the processes! When we measure the effectiveness of processes, that’s going to show us what kind of productivity we’re getting from our people, systems, and processes (including on the make/buy side and sell side).

What do we have down as far as our processes and SOPs? Are they manual or automated? Can we go automated and keep quality? A lot of these things need to be evaluated before we put them in play.

If we’re going to drive growth in our organization, we have to look at what demands we’re going to put onto the organization in the form of people and process because those are going to be the way that these things get accomplished. We have drivers and leaders that will take up these demands and make them on the organization, so we can grow and achieve our goals.

Part 3 : Growth Planning Disciplines

Part 3 : Growth Planning Disciplines

by Patty Lawrence | TurboCharge Your Business

There has to be some level of discipline as we grow our business and plan for that growth. In order to do a good job with the execution side, you need 3 fundamental disciplines or routines.

1. Priorities

You need to have priorities in your business. Otherwise, you’re just chasing whatever pops up. In the first segment, we talked about having one main focus for the quarter. What’s the one thing that’s going to take us further towards our goal? What do leaders need to have everyone focus on in order to make baby-step progress towards our one big priority?

2. Data

We need to gather qualitative and quantitative data in order to understand where our business is, where it’s been, and where it’s trending. There’s a lot of discipline that needs to go into getting good data. It needs to be consistent, timely, insightful, and relevant so we can make informed decisions based on it. That all goes into data processes and collection. This includes qualitative data as well, like what kind of feedback you’re getting from your customers!

3. Rhythm.

What kind of cadence or routine do we need to have for our regular data-sharing, meetings, and check-ins on growth progress and priorities. Inside our company, do we have routine meetings built in? Some meetings are milestone-based, while some are daily or weekly updates/recaps/check-ins. What kinds of meetings are important to have, and on what basis do they need to happen?

Part 4 : Growth Planning Decisions

Part 4 : Growth Planning Decisions

by Patty Lawrence | TurboCharge Your Business

Decisions transcend the other 3 D’s because the other 3 D’s need to have decisions take place in order to move them forward. Decisions are a necessary part of planning the growth of your business, growing, and scaling. We make multiple decisions every day, and they typically fall into 4 categories:

1. People

Decisions regarding people have to take priority. Ask yourself: do we need this role? Is it time to fill this role? Is it time to bring someone in to perform this function? What are the growth plans requiring of our people?

2. Strategy

Are we asking the right questions about the strategy we’re pursuing in our company? Are we going in the right direction? Are we serving the right customers and clients? Are we serving our team? Are we in alignment with our guiding principles? Are we executing on our mission? If we aren’t, then we’ve wandered off track. Depending on where we’re taking the business, questions in this category can drive into other categories.

3. Execution

Execution allows us to drive profit at the bottom line. How we execute the plan is going to put money back into our accounts. It also has to be done in accordance with a timeline.

4. Cash

Cash is king, and it fuels our businesses. We need to be sure we have the right amount of cash to continue to fuel the growth and trajectory we’ve outlined in our strategy and our execution against it. Every baby step we take towards our goal will require some outlay of cash and hopefully some inlay of cash when we manage well and derive profit from it.

Get more business insights on TurboCharge Your Business

A show for business owners who are tired of just working IN the nuts and bolts of their businesses and ready to work ON the business itself from a big-picture, growth-oriented, strategic perspective.

Your CPA Shouldn’t Be Your CFO!

Put your name and best email address into the form below, and I'll send you “Why You Aren’t Growing Your Business: 5 Reasons Why Your CPA Shouldn’t Be Your CFO” absolutely free.

You have Successfully Subscribed!