What does it mean to move to the next level? It is a phrase often spouted without clarifying how it is being used. It could be the next level in gross sales, moving from $5 million to $10 million. It could mean moving to the next level in product development, moving from a single product or service line to more than one. It could also mean that the organization is becoming more diverse in the way it is structured with more individuals fulfilling individual functions rather than a few wearing several hats.
Next level thinking requires a strategy and a lot of planning. It doesn’t just occur. Growth can be organic or by acquisition- both require forethought. Innovation to create new products or services is a process, and the better the process the more likely the success.
One of the big questions to be answered – What will the organization gain by moving to the next level? If top line sales growth wreaks havoc with sales strategies and lowers margins substantially, is it worth it? If unmanaged and miscommunicated innovation destroys process and dilutes the company’s brand, what was gained?
The next level is about construction. We have all played with blocks or played jenga. It’s working collaboratively to move the business vision to the next stage. Construction takes a strong foundation insuring that each layer above is stable as well as strong. Trying to build on a weak foundation leads to disaster.
Your strategy in thinking about the “next level” should start with a good hard look at the present state. Is your desire to move to the next level blinding you to a need to address the present state first?