May 11, 2023
May 11, 2023
Contributor: Dave Aron
High-growth companies are targeting double-digit growth in fiscal 2023 despite economic turbulence. To succeed, they’re uniquely leveraging strategic diversification, collective leadership and their ability to thrive amid stressors and shocks.
The 2022 Gartner Understanding Corporate Growth Strategies Survey shows 37% of business leaders expect to increase revenue by 10% or more in fiscal 2023. Another 38% expect growth of 5% to 10%. The 37% who are high-growth companies deploy three practices to propel their growth goals:
Establish collective executive responsibility for growth.
Diversify strategies and portfolios.
Embed “antifragile” practices into operating models, which increase the enterprise’s ability to respond and even thrive amid a range of external operating conditions.
At high-growth companies, a range of senior executives are perceived to drive corporate expansion, while most low-growth companies depend more heavily on the CEO to lead. Perceptions of executive contributions vary, though. For example, CIOs and CFOs rate their importance significantly higher in leading growth than their peers rate their contribution to driving growth.
During periods of market turbulence, low-growth companies turn their attention inward, retrench operations and focus on what they know. By contrast, high-growth companies find their way through by looking for what’s new and different.
For example, high-growth companies are significantly more likely to experiment with new business ideas and business models and to leverage learnings from other industries. High-growth companies are also significantly more apt to rate digital activities as very or extremely important to growth.
Antifragility refers to a set of practices that allow the enterprise to evolve in the face of uncertainties and shocks, with the goal of creating more value, as opposed to risk management, which focuses on protecting the status quo. Consequently, antifragile enterprises do more than bounce back from external shocks — they exploit such shocks for competitive advantage.
In many ways, high-growth companies, more often than their low-growth peers, practice antifragility tactics, such as using diverse talent to listen for weak external signals and deploying “red teams” to simulate the role of a competitor and surface endemic vulnerabilities.
“Some business leaders are reporting ambitious growth goals despite persistent economic uncertainty. High-growth companies are more likely than lower growth companies to view macroeconomic uncertainty as a source of opportunity, look to unexplored markets, take greater risks for launching new products and use more flexible up-market and down-market pricing strategies.”
1. High-growth companies are targeting double-digit growth despite economic turbulence.
2. Mirroring practices of high-growth companies could help propel your growth strategies.
3. Three practices stand out among high-growth companies: strategic diversification, collective leadership and embedded antifragility.
Dave Aron is a VP and Gartner Fellow in the CIO Research group, focusing on digital business and innovation. Aron is a thought leader on digital business strategy. He helps boards and CxOs understand and engage with advanced business and technology topics, such as the impact of the digital dragons, the rise of digital China, antifragility, business dynamics and real options.
Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
2023 Growth Agenda: High-Growth Companies Use 3 Catalysts to Drive Performance
2023 CEO Survey — The Pause and Pivot Year
CIO New Year’s Resolutions for 2023
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.
Join your peers for the unveiling of the latest insights at Gartner conferences.