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Define Business Growth Strategy

How can you chart a path that will lead to repeatable growth through innovation? Our work with VF Corporation—maker of Lee Jeans, Wrangler, North Face, and Nautica—shows the way. After a year in which revenue declined five percent, this global leader in branded apparel turned to us to help create a strategy to meet ambitious new growth goals.

We began by auditing current innovation practices and bottlenecks. We worked with VF leadership to map and prioritize new high-value growth opportunities involving 44 innovation projects backed by $7 million in seed money. Then we helped create a solution that helped reinvigorate sales of its Lee Jeans brand.

Within two years, the 50,000-employee company was on a sustained path of double-digit revenue growth across all business units. In 2011, for the first time, VF entered the top 100 on the Barron's 500, which ranks all public companies based on sales growth and return on investment.

The lesson from VF Corp. and other clients is that you shouldn't approach innovation randomly. Rather, innovation should be tightly integrated with corporate strategy. We help companies create and articulate this growth strategy—then put it into action.

At Innosight, a general management approach to innovation is at the center of everything we do. It's why our initial meetings with senior executives start with the end in mind: what does success look like? Where do want to lead your company? How can you know when to change course?

Historically, fewer than 10% of companies have been able to sustain above-average growth for more than a few years. Most new products fail. Leading incumbent firms often catch transformational trends too late, or not at all.

Adapting to a changing business and technological landscape sometimes requires the courage to formulate a new vision of who you want to be. That's what we mean when we say we help companies achieve "transformational growth." It's the kind of growth that changes the story of who you are and where you're going. And it doesn't happen by accident.

When defining your growth strategy, key considerations include:

Starting before you need to

The best time to embark on a growth-through-innovation initiative is when your core business is steady. This gives you room to take stock of your assets and create a game plan for growth.

Growing the core and beyond

Companies must pick their playing field. Should you innovate only in your core market? Or should you seek growth on entirely new terrain, the "white spaces" that may require entirely new business models?

Harnessing disruptive innovation

Innovators often seek growth by asking their best customers what they want. But that can have you overshooting the market, leaving you susceptible to disruptive innovations—products and services that are dramatically simpler, cheaper or more accessible than anything on the market. What if you launched your own marketplace disruptions? Innosight can show you how to play better defense and offense.

What we offer

Opportunity MappingOpportunity Mapping

We help you identify and map out areas of untapped potential that can be converted to profitable growth. We find new markets and envision new business models based on new revenue streams, profit structure or channel strategy.

Portfolio Management StrategyBalancing Your Innovation Portfolio

We help determine whether your innovation pipeline is sufficient to meet growth targets. If not, we show how to rebalance to fill your growth gap. We show why projects with disruptive potential must have the resources to succeed.

Related Insights

Books from Innosight:

The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

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Innosight in Harvard Business Review:

Mapping Your Innovation Strategy

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