Growth is about process, not people

In grad school I studied the case of Home Depot under then CEO Robert (Bob) Nardelli.  This made big waves at the time because Bob made big promises to supercharge growth.

Long-story short, that didn’t happen.

The company got bigger, but profit didn’t budge, why?

Well Bob just grew Home Depot to be bigger NOT more profitable.

Through his tenure they just about doubled revenue, but they also doubled their expenses and that unimpressive trajectory was reflected in the performance of their stock price which remained flat.

I see this all the time with the firms I help scale.  Everything is getting bigger and more complex, but their profit isn’t budging.

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This is typically because they are doing the same thing Home Depot did 20 years ago at this point – only making things bigger not better.

Bigger isn’t better.  Leaner and more agile is better.  Your goal shouldn’t be how can I do more with more, it should be how can I do more with what I already have or even better with less?

Stop trying to grow through hiring.  Start figuring out how to become more operationally efficient through process improvement.

If do you, that level of growth will unlock amazing potential.

PS. You can read more about the Home Depot case study here. (free version)

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