Corporate Growth Can Lead to Stodginess

In the corporate world, a certain plateau of innovative growth exists that even the most dynamic and disruptive start-ups will eventually experience. In the past, this inevitable progression into stodginess was largely attributed to a distinct lack of flexible and quick decision making typical of increasingly bureaucratic operations, but with the rise of digital technologies, this is no longer the sole reason. As described in this insightful interview (https://specialreports.theaustralian.com.au/588028/Lowy-on-a-high/), if the rapid growth one often sees after a successful product launch is not coupled with sound business practices, many vexing problems can ensue.

A Changed Landscape

New technologies have leveled the business playing field significantly for all participants. Both the fresh start-up, and established firm now have the potential to bring an innovative product to market almost immediately. This frantic make-or-break scenario has been around a couple of decades now, but seems particularly urgent these days. The downside to this type of growth is the rise of stiff and clever competition that always accompanies a successful product launch. In response to this crisis, many panicked companies will rapidly lose their focus, and adopt a stultifying defense strategy that often results in an unhealthy aversion to risk. Unless something is done quickly, cutbacks and layoffs loom on the horizon.

When presented with all the wonderful attractions the flexible and free-spirited approach most start-ups bring to the corporate world, it’s easy to assume they could be immune to the traditional business mistakes of the past. However, the rapid change in corporate culture in recent times has not necessarily translated into better customer service. It’s one thing to be able to expertly engineer and develop a hot new item, but quite another entirely to provide clients with a positive purchasing experience from start of finish. All the bells and whistles in the world won’t make up for a lack of an 800 service number, or a straightforward return policy.

A Balance of Old and New

Once a company really starts to take off, they might enter into the unfamiliar territory of traditional customer service, offline transactions, and the possibility of having to open a “brick and mortar” store. Any one of these features can pose a daunting challenge to tech companies used to the open atmosphere of internet sales. On the other hand, older and more established companies need to be attentive to this as well, to avoid taking the complacent attitude that the customer will always be there and return for more.

All companies, young or old, would do well to have built-in “think tanks” that would act as both incubators of promising ideas, and offer the critical analysis necessary to keep a bad product from ever reaching the market. This would have the added advantage of encouraging any and all communication from the rank and file on how best to innovate, and by promoting this division as separate and independent, the company would not be exposed to any unplanned risk.

The best chance a business has of surviving the “sophomore slump” is to apply a healthy blend of proven old-school corporate techniques with new and emerging technologies, to grow into the future!