Submitted by Laurie Taylor, president, FlashPoint!
I remember March 2000 when the dotcom economy collapsed. What had started back in 1969 as ARPANET, had grown into what people called the Internet and the early adopters had jumped on this new technology with a vengeance. Dot Com companies sprung out of nowhere, backed by venture capitalists who wasted no time funding startups that had little if any business plan or vision.
Our company, a marketing communications company, in Boulder, CO had grown with this new trend. As a technology savvy company, we were quick to move from simple FTP sites to creating full blown websites and offering our expertise to other companies who wanted to become ‘Internet-based’. I remember my creative manager had said to me ‘we could create a totally new revenue stream by simply coming up with dot com names and selling them to the highest bidder.’ I should have listened!
With no real strategy, and a non-proven concept – Content WAS NOT King back then – the entire platform collapsed, plunging hundreds of companies into bankruptcy, leaving thousands of people scrambling for work. We were no exception. Hindsight, as they say, is 20-20.
In order to stay ahead of their growth curve, companies need the ability to ‘see around the corner’ and be aware of challenges and opportunities. They need to be able to think about their companies differently, identify problems that are holding them back or making them vulnerable. Our vulnerability was allowing our receivables to get too high and when our clients went belly-up so did their ability to pay us.
There is a tool to help CEOs ‘see around that corner’. This process, the Stages of Growth X-Ray, provides you and your management team with the ability to:
1. Identify your top 5 challenges and make sure you are addressing your specific challenges for your current stage of growth.
2. Uncover where you are being either too Cautious (slowing down the decision-making process and missing opportunities) or being too Confident (thinking something is going to stay the same and not thinking about the consequences if it doesn’t).
3. Dig deeper into the ‘root cause’ of what your real issues are. Helping you get to the TRUTH of what you and your management team need to think about differently.
With the ability to conduct an X-Ray of your company (similar to what your doctor does to help diagnose what ails you), you basically have an Early Warning System to help you navigate through the challenges that may be creating obstacles to your ability to grow.