In this episode of "Beer with a CFO", Bridget Howard, our Director of Marketing, recently had the chance to discuss the book ‘The Granularity of Growth: How to Identify the Sources of Growth and Drive Enduring Company Performance’ with John Gimpert, a seasoned executive consultant with more than 35 years of experience.
He advised many CFOs, finance executives, and board members in his three and a half decades worth of work. Throughout the years, his main goal has been to raise the effectiveness of their leadership, governance structures, and financial operations.
John Gimpert has worked with Deloitte for more than 33 years and has been the Director of the CFO Leadership Council since 2016.
The granularity of growth
The book encapsulates an essential theme in Gimpert’s view – the granularity of growth.
For companies to survive in today’s market, they have to grow. It’s essential, and that’s what the book is really about.
That doesn’t mean that you only need a reasonable standard of growth – you need to have a good rate of growth for a longer period, i.e., sustained growth as time passes.
That’s key, and if you don’t manage to do that, you will end up where some 80% of companies end up – going out of business. They all fail because they fail to grow.
As John says, it sounds easy, but it certainly isn’t in practice. That’s especially true when you consider the state of the world today – it’s always changing. The problem which many companies face today is a lack of granularity of understanding of what’s driving their growth.
What does this mean? It means several things which you need to investigate and understand:
- How you’re doing in your market
- How you’re doing with your product portfolio
- What’s happening and how you’re dealing with both new and existing customers
- What are the features of the products you’re selling
With all of that, you get a sense of how broad your data is. That’s key because you need to realize several things to go from merely having a strategy, to executing that strategy successfully.
That means that you need to ask yourself several things:
- Is my strategy holding?
- Do I need to change my strategy?
- How do I change my strategy?
- Or maybe, do I just keep doing what I’m doing?
The granularity of growth is necessary to achieve this, and that’s precisely what this book is about.
Part of it, Chapter 4 to be precise, gets into the details of this and, the how and why have successful companies managed to survive by figuring out and truly understanding their granularity of growth.
What you need to do here is figure out where it’s all coming from and if it’s not coming from something, then get out of there and pivot.
It’s no longer good enough for CFOs to show the results and to look backward. They need to look at the executives and show them some real granularity around what drove their growth or find what needs to change if that growth is nowhere to be found.
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