First, let’s talk about being the “That Growth Guy” in an organization. Off the bat, it is an extremely challenging role and is not your usual 9 to 5 desk job and take your regular paycheck home kind of situation. In reality, you assume the role of an entrepreneur in residence as your goal is the same as that of the CEO, you’re essentially solving the same problem-driving growth and increasing the customer base!
You can’t bluff growth. You are either driving growth or you aren’t.
In other words, it is an accountability driven role where your good old growth excel sheet becomes your friend, your enemy and your manager.
A million variables affect your metric.
And pointing fingers won’t do you any good. You’re the go-to person when it comes to fixing the problems, and that’s why you can spot a growth guy even if you are 100 feet away! They are always poking their noses in other departments …
In the words of the former vice-chair of General Electric, “Growth and Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.”
If you’re still reading and not scared away yet, it means you must really like this field!
Given the fair share of challenges that the role carries, it also brings with itself a multitude of benefits. Everyone in the organization knows you and you have a constant spotlight on you as your goal supersedes the ULTIMATE goal that the organization has. This direct flashlight, no matter how big the org is, that follows you gives way to a great degree of networking and tons of opportunities. You can also quite logically leverage the results that you’re delivering to negotiate a higher compensation, appraisals or other benefits.
So what does it mean to have a growth mindset?
While normal marketers use a ‘let’s throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks’ approach, having a growth mindset means using a methodical approach based on data. You talk to customers, figure out what the wants, challenges and needs of customers are and make decisions based on that.
Ask yourself the following questions to see if you’re on the right track as these are a few of the challenges when it comes to growth mindsets in organizations:
- Is your organization focussing on month over month growth or quarterly growth?
Growth driven people and MOM results don’t go hand in hand. If your MOM growth graph is heavily fluctuating in comparison to your rivals’s smooth “ swoosh” quarterly growth graph, it’s a HUGE red flag in terms of mindset for your organization. If not changed, down the lane it can lead to a heaven and hell difference in numbers.
2. For bringing in growth, are you using tactics or strategies?
If you’re experiencing exponential growth, good for you, but sit down and ask yourself whether you found a tactic or a strategy. Because while a tactic is a hack that will show instant, too good to be true results, these will be short-lived and will be followed by a huge dip in growth, as it’s only a matter of a few months until your competitors catch up.
On the other hand, a strategy, which unlike tactics, is harder to replicate, will go a long way and separate you from your competitors in the long run. Developing unique strategies and not relying on instantly gratifying tactics is what differentiates a growth guy from the rest.
If you think about it, a growth mindset almost means having more in common with engineers than with traditional marketers. That is because most of the principles growth hackers work by, such as testing, iterating and basing decisions off of data, are modelled after the engineering world.
3. Is your thinking towards results linear or recurring?
A person devoid of a growth mindset thinks linearly and takes decisions irrespective of their impacts on other areas of business and gets linear and often disappointing results in the longer run.
The recurring approach leads to your results compounding on different metrics and having exponential growth come back to you in the long run as opposed to linear results.
Thus, the ‘Me and mine’ mindset doesn’t really go hand in hand with that of growth, bringing us to the next question!
4. Is your organization working in silos or is it cross-functional?
While agricultural silos refer to the separation and storage of assets vital to a farm, organizational silos refer to the separation of a different kind of asset vital to an organization: people.
When a specific department, say marketing, works efficiently, like a well-oiled machine. One would think this is an obvious plus for the business as a whole, even though it could be that half of the leads provided are junk. The marketing department might think that this problem is not their headache and needs to be dealt with by the salespeople as their job is only to get the leads!
Hence, when employees in one department fail to interact effectively and efficiently with those in other departments, business operations can start to suffer, resulting in lost revenue and even turf wars between departments.
Having a growth mindset means that you have to get down to the root of the problem–find out why the leads are not converting, get feedback from sales, etc. You need to ensure cross-functionality and that the different teams and departments are not independent entities simply pursuing their own targets.
The answers to these questions are crucial to ensure that the people hired for manufacturing growth will do their job effectively. Because if the answers are the former of each choice, neither Sundar Pichai nor Jeff Bezos will bring you growth.
To develop a growth mindset and engineer lasting results is clearly not an easy task and there is no straitjacket solution. This is where the growth marketing bootcamp comes in and takes you closer to achieving the outlook needed for generating growth in your organization. To gain in-depth, practical knowledge and have one on one conversations with leaders in the fields of growth and marketing, join our next cohort to give your career the boost it needs!
Harneet Bhalla, Program Director at Xpert He leads Growth at Glance|ex-1mg. He has empowered more than 5 Fortune 500 companies, multiple start-ups, celebrities and thousands of others through his growth marketing insights. Has been an active speaker at various forums and conferences including TEDx GLAU and IIT Bombay. Featured on a number of podcasts across USA, UK, Canada and India.