Five ways we should be thinking differently about growth

Micro inventions and marginal behaviours are not typically associated with ‘breakthrough growth’, but they are more important than you realise.

by Antonia Garrett Peel

Growth is the cornerstone ambition of nearly every business, but in a challenging economic environment even modest gains can feel elusive.

Senior professors from London Business School discussed how companies could achieve breakthrough growth at an event this week. They urged leaders to be more ambitious and challenged misconceptions about how to chase significant growth. 

1. Pay attention to consumers’ fringe behaviour

We often think about growth as a supply-side phenomenon – delivered by disruptive new technologies – and neglect a demand-side perspective. Adjunct associate professor Helen Edwards, author of From Marginal to Mainstream, says that “clues” as to where future demand will come from can be found by looking at today’s fringe behaviours. A “colliding of factors” can then trigger a particular demand area to take off – for example, the arrival of Covid-19 and the boost it provided to the market for biometric tracking devices. 

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