The Life Cycle Curve
In the world of business and organizational development, it’s crucial to grasp how growth, maturity, and decline play out. Imagine it like the different chapters in a company’s story. The Organizational Life Cycle Curve is an exercise that allows us to understand how departments or entire organizations evolve. It’s a meaningful way to approach your strategy. So, is your organization growing or are you on life support? Let’s find out.
The typical business cycle consists of a bell curve with the following distinct phases: start-up, growth, maturity, decline, and death. You can see this visual by downloading our exercise PDF below. You can use the curve to evaluate the entire company or departments, individual product lines, services, markets, and programs.
To identify where you sit on the Life Cycle Curve, gather your leadership team and ask each person to place the organization wherever they believe is most accurate. It’s likely you’ll have a scattering of placements – this is good! The value here is in the discussion. What are the top three reasons for your placement?
Left Side of the Curve: This is the time to innovate and look for ways to grow the business. Once you’ve proven your market validity, stay consistent but iterate on what grabs the attention of your customers. You’ve got a lot of runway to try new things and experiment— so, seize the opportunity.
Middle of the Curve: Everything is going well. Profits are good, market share is solid. This is the perfect time to restart the business curve. With the most available resources and mature systems, it’s the ideal time to innovate. If you don’t, you risk sliding down the right side of the curve.
Right Side of the Curve: Focusing on cost reduction and building efficiencies is important here, but won’t restart the business curve. Making innovation a priority is more important than ever.
Understanding where you stand on the curve can be a game-changer. It can help guide your strategy and decisions, steering you toward growth and ensuring your organization doesn’t just survive but thrives.
So, are you embracing growth or desperately holding on? The curve has the answers.
Check out Ryan’s video below to learn even more about the Life Cycle Curve:
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