Your Firm’s Growth Plan: Is it DOA?

By Andrew J. Birol, President, Birol Growth Consulting, Inc.

You and your business have survived many years and now you have the chance to grow to the next level. You have a great business plan, strong people, and enough finance, but much to your dismay, your results are not forthcoming. How could such a great combination of resources and talents not create the winning formula? As you start to question your key players and others on your staff, it becomes clear that they just do not have the conviction to succeed. How can this be? Whether your idea centers on entering a new market, developing a new service or squeezing costs out without cutting heads, you see an opportunity for everyone to win; yet it's clear they don't believe in your idea.

What are the key symptoms of a plan that is dead on arrival?

  • You or any of the other owners are motivated as much by protecting your wealth as you are in creating new value.
  • Your corporate and salaried people do not feel empowered to make needed changes.
  • Your hourly people do not connect the quality or quantity of their work to the success of the company or an increase in their pay.
  • No one in your company, including your sales force, has really had to sell an idea, product, or service to make a mortgage payment.
  • You have an organization of insiders who see success from maintaining their position as opposed to outsiders who try to get customers, partners and vendors heard and served by insiders.

I see this condition in a number of different environments including:

  • Individuals who say they want to be entrepreneurs but cannot find the confidence to take the risk.
  • Departments who are unable to achieve needed results regardless of any combination of resources, new people or added time.
  • Entire companies that lose touch with their markets by losing touch with their best and highest use.
  • Entire regions acting like frogs in heating pots of water. They do not see any erosion to the value they provide to their constituents until they leave or fail.

What can individuals, entrepreneurs, company leaders, and government officials do to avoid sinking into the quagmires that suffocate any plan? They can:

  • Pick and reward, passionate, busy people before loyal subservient workers
  • Recognize that their people cannot control their circumstances but can control their reactions and reward those who react positively to change.
  • Cut out both dispassionate people and championless activities quickly before they infect the entire growth plan.
  • Differentiate between good people and ideas from bad timing and under-resourced efforts. Do not throw your babies out with your bathwater.
  • Wherever you see yourself or your organization going along to get along, stop, and ask yourself why.

In spite of so many good efforts at accomplishing great results, it all comes down to moving individual mindsets from ambivalence to conviction. It is often said that people are usually more competent than they are confident. Before your embark on that new plan to seize the day, take a hard look at those that must carry it with you and ensure that it is within their grasp as well as yours.

Articles by Birol Growth Consulting are © copyrighted and all rights are reserved. However, articles may be reprinted with prior written consent if attribution is included as follows:

© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at (412) 973-2080, by email at, or on the web at

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