The Growth Wheel or the Startup Wheel as some like to call it is a powerful organization tool that is important to use from time to time. It breaks down your organization into 4 high level areas of Business/Service Concept, Customer Relations, Operations, and Organization. These four areas each have 5 subcategories that outline 20 total areas of the organization that need to be looked in on from time to time. We recommend doing a simple review of each area once a quarter and even assigning a ranking on a scale from 1-10 in terms of how you feel that area of the organization is doing. Some areas are ok to be weak in because it may not be critical to the success of the agency. However there are some areas you will be weak in that need attention; in these areas set a goal for where you want your ranking to be, what are you going to do to improve, and a time frame. As your agency moves forward priority areas today may not be the priority areas tomorrow, so you will have to adjust.
If you have never done this before it is a good spot check tool for your organization, that usually creates long to do lists for you to complete. If you have used this tool or something similar, you may want to revisit considering the current COVID-19 environment. Further complexity is thinking the through where we will be as country in just six months; should you bring strategies pre-COVID-19 and combine them with your COVID-19 strategies and adjustments? If we just look at the Business/Service Concept quadrant, let us consider the following.
- Business/Service Idea: Does your original concept as service still carry weight?
- Product Portfolio: What is the service and program portfolio that you have and is it still applicable?
- Service Model: Has your service model changed and what adjustments must you make?
- Client Portfolio: Is your mix of clients still willing to support you; are there new ones we must shift too?
- Market Position: What was your market position before COVID-19, and what is it now? Was the market receiving your programs and services in a way that was achieving the goals you set out on?
In general service agencies core competency is the same, however how we execute has changed and we are all thinking through is this the time to truly consider the gaps so that better stability pathways can be formed. What is the right mix of all the products and services we provide; what should their intensity be, duration, and frequency. Many of us have seen our market position shift; meaning clients are not responding the way they once did and maybe some of our core value has been neutralized by the pandemic. Is there an opportunity to serve a segment of clients we have been failing or not accessing? Are you ready to take that on?
It is time to start addressing things we have been talking about head on, because we have no other choice. We hope that you took to heart true customer discovery and having physical conversation with clients, and by now you have learned better who your client was and is and how you can fit into their behavior with your adjusted offering and service model. The sooner we dig in on this strategy and thinking, the sooner we will uncover the opportunity that will get you through this.