Preparing for growth seems a pretty self-explanatory concept, right?

But I challenge this. The truth is that for many, preparation as a concept is frequently connected to the anticipated, being reactive rather than strategic, and forms the foundation business case for how relevant resources are allocated to meet the expected head-on.

Here’s the problem with that approach, preparation is not a response to growth. It’s the impetus for it. Preparation is concerned with actively targeting investment to develop the capabilities to realise growth. It addresses how you will capitalise on the opportunities so that growth strengthens your business rather than destabilising it.

Equally, growth is a concept that seems ubiquitously adopted by businesses as the key goal they are striving to achieve. Still, without a tangible link to the required capability to sustain it, growth can impair a business, limiting the upside and, in many cases creating downward pressure that erodes the drivers of value, which can induce a decline.

So are you prepared to grow?

While many leaders we speak to answer in the affirmative, the reality experienced by many and referred to as “growing pains” are just the symptoms of more wholesale gaps exposed by the lack of prepared growth capabilities that have expanded in tandem with increased business. And though ad-hoc solutions can be deployed along the way, band-aid solutions don’t last, and they are visible for all to see, both internally and often externally, for the customer.

So back to the preparation for growth, which is the actioned intent to create the capacity and capability to embrace growth sustainably. Sustainable growth is all about scale, which is the ability to engage the strategic levers of change as needed with the least friction experienced.

Preparation goes beyond having a “bucket” to capture commercial opportunity, it’s structural, balancing the strategic and operational agenda’s in polarity to maximise the least negative effects of both.

So how invested in preparing for growth is your business? Have you grabbed a bigger bucket that buckles and flexes under pressure as it fills, or have you invested in creating the plumbing and pipework to facilitate the growth, optimising the outcomes of profitability and customer success now and into the future?