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Competing for growth: how business is growing beyond boundaries - EY - Global

Competing for growth: how business is growing beyond boundaries

High performers do better on...

For each of the four drivers — customer reach, operational agility, cost competitiveness and stakeholder confidence — higher performers have adopted a distinctive set of actions, or have made further progress, in implementing each program.

By digging deeper into what successful companies are doing, we can draw insight and offer guidance on how they are achieving their success.

The new economy is more competitive than the old. Greater variation in market performance, sharper market volatility, ceaseless pressure on margins and demanding stakeholders has made for an increasingly interconnected — and interdependent — global economy.

In our first Competing for growth report, we interviewed some 1,400 companies from around the world to see how they were responding. Our study showed that successful players — the top quartile in both revenue and EBITA growth — have focused on executing four drivers of competitive success:

  • Customer reach: to optimize their potential market
  • Operational agility: to maximize their effective response
  • Cost competitiveness: to optimize their profitability
  • Stakeholder confidence: to secure both talent and support for achieving their goals

High performers do better on...

This report seeks to test and build on these findings, by exploring how the drivers of competitive success are being applied to the three fundamental sources of organic growth:

By digging deeper into what successful companies are doing, we can draw insight and offer guidance on how they are achieving their success.

Sometimes success can be found by going in completely the opposite direction to all others. Such pioneering can be very challenging in large organizations, where there are talented and often equally opinionated colleagues to convince. The process of building consensus can draw decision-making back to more established patterns of action. A pioneering approach is more often found in the early stages of entrepreneurial companies that are still led by their founders.

More frequently, however, the difference between success and relative underperformance comes not from the choice of program, but from the skill with which a program is executed. Consequently, in many of our findings, differences are often most apparent at the margin rather than in the mainstream. The differences between high and low performers are often greater for the responses that have the lowest overall scores.

Study parameters

The benchmark findings for this report are drawn from two studies conducted in parallel for EY by the Economist Intelligence Unit. To explore what companies were doing as they entered new markets and innovated, we interviewed some 400 C-suite and marketing professionals. To explore how companies were addressing talent management, we interviewed 400 C-suite and HR directors.


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