GrowthDNA Assessment for Kauffman Foundation
Wendy Guillies: firstname.lastname@example.org
A score of GREEN (45 or more points out of 50) indicates that you are doing well in this area. A score of YELLOW (32-44 points out of 50) indicates that you have some things in place, but could do more in this area. A score of RED (31 or fewer points out of 50) indicates that you have work to do in this area.
Your organization is effective in using some data. It is possible that you are gathering solid data in a few key areas (such as financials and operations) or gathering a little bit of data about a lot of things—but neither is giving you a full view of the company’s current position in the marketplace nor giving you the confidence needed to make bold decisions regarding new opportunities. The limited amount of data used may be undermining your growth.
It is too common for companies to pull the trigger on a project without understanding what the market really wants, what competitors are doing, and the capabilities of the organization to effectively implement the project and other factors that determine its success. You may find your track record is decent but not as good as you would like it to be.
Having too little or ineffective data is one of the primary reasons only 1 in 4 strategic initiatives generate value. To improve results, the organization would benefit from identifying data gaps and setting up processes to routinely analyze, share and deploy the resulting insights into strategic decision making—like new sales programs, new product development, new markets to explore and more. It is most likely that the gaps are stronger in “outside-in” data or market-facing data around customers or competitors. These are actually the areas that are most robust in identifying new growth opportunities.
If you would like to improve the number and scale of new opportunities while increasing confidence in evaluating and pursuing them, let’s talk about how to strengthen this DNA strand.
Your organization is putting time and effort into developing a strategy. You have a plan in place that has been communicated and expectations established for how to compete in the marketplace. Beyond that, it is likely that your strategy is not as complete in painting a picture of the desired future.
It is possible that what you are creating is more of an operations or business plan—one that builds on where you are with goals for incremental improvements in what you are currently doing. There may be some lack of clarity around top priorities because every department is competing for the same resources. Your plan may be subject to historical bias and beliefs rather than built on hard facts.
To ensure you maximize the results from your strategy, be sure you have adequate “outside-in” insights from your discovery work, where you assess the company the same way a customer might, and the strategy you create steps back to look at the future first—where you could be—before you decide what to work on next year. Don’t assume that getting better at what you already do will earn more dollars in the marketplace. It may save money but it won’t take your organization to a new level of performance.
If you are interested in improving strategic clarity and focusing on big wins, let’s get together to determine how to best strengthen this strand of DNA. We want you and your entire team to be energized by strategy and achieve your potential!
Implementation is a mixed bag for your organization. Like many organizations, you may be seeing a return on a portion of the strategic initiatives you sponsor (the average is only 1 of 4 returns value) or you may be seeing some return on most of them—but not at the levels forecasted.
Likely you are communicating to employees what you would like to see done but it may not be sticking. It is possible you have a culture of “here comes another one” with change initiatives cycling through every so often but with little lasting impact. Or there may be some processes set up to encourage widespread employee participation but it is implemented inconsistently across the organization.
To take your organization to the next level, start by asking employees what is missing. Is there sufficient understanding of the strategy and resulting initiatives? Do they feel they have a role in making it happen? Is the communication clear enough? Frequent enough? Consistent enough? Once you understand the nature of the problem, it is not difficult to put some new procedures and processes in place to shore up implementation effectiveness and drive company-wide commitment.
Plans can be created in the board room but they can’t be implemented there. If the organization is having difficulty maximizing employee commitment or buy-in, the value potential of the organization will not be achieved. Changing your DNA on this strand from yellow to green will have a significant impact on your results. Are you ready to get started?
The culture has elements of growth-mindedness but it is not consistent. You may find that although communication is a priority, employees are hesitant to speak up and ask questions or volunteer for projects. That may be because for whatever reason, it wasn’t encouraged in the past. Perhaps in the recent past there has been a mindset of cost containment, which feels a bit at odds with growth.
Employees may not know what is expected of them or how they will be evaluated. At the end of the day, employees want to be clear about how they can excel and advance. Without information about how contributions will impact them they can be slower to respond. It is possible that the decision-making is primarily a function of leadership and not diffused through the organization. Employees may feel they are typically told what is needed rather than encouraged to make contributions.
One of the best ways to find out where you are in the development of a growth-minded culture is to ask employees. What gets in the way of their success? How can leadership better support their growth and contributions? How much and what type of communication is effective? Once you discover what is right and what is not quite right, you can begin to implement new tools, practices and processes which leads to new behavior. And new growth-minded behavior is what GrowthDNA is building, It is essential to not only achieving success but also sustaining it year after year.
If employee’s actions are not aligned with their verbal commitment, chances are they feel risk in tackling new behaviors. It is up to leadership to create a culture that inspires, motivates and rewards employees for adapting their work product, their thought processes and their own self-development to enable the company to reach new levels of success. To excel at growth, this DNA strand would benefit from being more consistent. Together we can determine the best way to get that done.
Overall, you score yellow.
You have a good organization with some elements of GrowthDNA.
In fact, you are likely stronger in some strands than you are in others.
The good news is that taking the organization to the next level is very doable as you already have a foundation in place. Action steps recommended for you are:
- Pick one area to improve and focus on that. Many of the principles needed to achieve GrowthDNA are outlined in the book Reignite: How Everyday Companies Spark Next Stage Growth. The book discusses best practice for each of these phases.
- Explore what it would take to reach “green” levels of GrowthDNA in all strands to maximize results.
- Let’s chat and discover what YOUR organization needs specifically to take it to the next level.
For more information, contact us.