How often have you found that what you accomplished didn’t bring the result you expected? All too often, business owners find that they don’t get what they thought they were getting. When they get there (wherever there is), they find that what they have done has essentially been a waste of time and effort, that it has simply become an exercise in futility. This is a process that I call “capturing Greenland”.

The Capturing Greenland Test

Capturing Greenland happens when you grow and end up with a result that is worse than you expected and could have been foreseen. This is the litmus test to see whether what you will be getting is really what you want. When you have developed your growth plan, answer the following questions:

Growth – lessons from the front

I founded and ran a company that grew from inception to $25 million in revenues over 10 years, and we grew at over 45% per year for eight consecutive years.  It was a wild ride, and in going through it I learnt a number of things that nobody told me would happen.
Most people who turn up to meetings with clients or prospects by car appreciate that the car you drive sends a message.  If it’s too old and cheap, they wonder about your success level and it can be a credibility issue.  If it’s too new, shiny, and expensive they think they’re going to be paying for your lifestyle in some way.
Positive articles about your company and awards programs are a great way to promote your company but it is essential that you keep them in perspective. The danger is that you hurt the culture of your company by taking them too seriously and starting to drink your own cool aid. They are like a drug and if you take them indiscriminately, you will become addicted and your judgement will be impaired.

Operational Implications of Growth

A goal I run across quite regularly is “to double (or triple) the size of the business in (three, four, five) years,” It is almost never accompanied by a realization of what the company will actually look like when the goal is reached, and this really has to be a key part of the process of planning for growth.