Business growth is primarily understood through the indicators that we use to measure it like revenue, headcount, or geographic expansion. But growth is the outcome of a range of tangible and intangible steps that are more broadly based than numerical goals or quotas. It’s a top-to-bottom company mindset that embodies a way of thinking, being, and innovating.
The topic of business growth is often viewed in terms of tangible, measurable things—revenue; headcount; or investments in engineering, product development, sales, and so on. But it’s the intangible factors, from employee mindset to the quality of customer relationships, that truly drive a company toward a state of growth.
Consider how Apple achieved a historic milestone – a market valuation of over one trillion dollars. According to CEO Tim Cook, this growth has been driven by the organization’s commitment to innovation and its principles. He wrote to the employees: “It’s you, our team, that makes Apple great and our success is due to your hard work, dedication, and passion. I am deeply humbled by what you do, and it’s the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside you.”
Indeed, when teams are not merely responding to market demand or internal goals but are creating and fostering growth by continuously thinking about and looking for purpose, insights, and opportunities, that state of growth becomes far more achievable. Leaders should consider it a privilege to work with customers and employees in ways that go much deeper than selling products or closing deals. After all, when we listen to customers and employees at all levels to help them grow, we expand our own knowledge and opportunities along the way.
Therefore, growth is about innovating with purpose – it’s about going beyond technology to look at the entire value chain, creating and delivering offerings that understand and anticipate customer needs and problems, and solving those problems from start to finish.
For example, our Nuance healthcare division is actively expanding internationally as demand for cloud-based clinical documentation platforms powered by artificial intelligence (AI) grows around the globe. We are uncovering a broader base of geographies to find new customers whose problems echo those of our current customers. In fact, we are honored to now play central roles in national initiatives in the UK and Canada. By helping national healthcare systems ease the burden of clinical documentation and free providers to spend more time caring for patients, we are enabling a digital transformation – start to finish – as the use of our cloud-based, AI-powered solutions expand.
When in a state of growth, teams are empowered to experiment, to do what they believe are the right things to do, and even to fail on the way to creating larger successes. There are many practical steps to achieving a state of growth, and they are all guided by the mindset of doing ordinary things extraordinarily well – but most of all, doing so with purpose.
Look beyond the numbers to achieve a state of growth – and discover that business growth comes from a way of thinking and a way of being, as well as a way of operating.