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Flip Your Priorities for Higher Growth

Ray Wang writes in Harvard Business Review that many companies have trouble spurring rapid growth simply because their priorities are wrong.

“First, look at how your organization allocates time and money to its various priorities. Most organizations follow what I call the business hierarchy of needs.  Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for individuals, with safety and physiological needs (food, water, shelter)  at the base and ego at the top, the business hierarchy of needs has five stages.”



“Unfortunately, the pyramid is the major barrier to new business growth because it allocates too much time to the low-value categories of regulatory compliance and operational efficiency.

“Regulatory compliance is only at the base of the pyramid because it is mandatory, time-consuming, and complicated. The problem is that organizations can spend up to 20% of their efforts spinning their wheels just keeping up with the changes. This is way too much time, and it keeps organizations from using their resources on activities that add more value, or more differentiation from competitors. The same goes for operational efficiency. If a task or process is mind numbing or too slow for a human to do, it’s time to operationalize these tasks. This automation will free up workers for training in higher-value jobs as well as reduce potential work injuries.”

“With that in mind, the goal should be to spend less time and effort on those categories, so you can free up resources for revenue growth, business model transformation, and brand because these are the business priorities that help organizations grow and compete.  In other words, you should flip the pyramid.”

Wang is the also author of Disrupting Digital Business.