2 - The Scale-Up Challenge
20 years ago, we set up a research group in Cambridge to track the growth of different businesses. And we found that every company had key moments where their growth stalled. We set about collating more data and identified a number of factors that every business should be considering when planning growth. And so our scale-up framework was born.
3 - Experiences of Scale-Up
There are so many priorities that a company needs to focus on, but not all of the priorities are important at the same time. In the very early stages, you need to get several basic things right. You need to have the right team. You need to play to your strengths and make sure that you have people around you that are also playing to their strengths, and are complimenting you. The other one is to establish the direction of your business, that you're not picking up this kind of scatter gun approach where you're all over the place with what you're trying to do. The third aspect you need to get right is does anybody care about what you're doing? Because if nobody cares then there isn't really a route or support. The most difficult part of the journey is an all-encompassing kind of problem, and that's ultimately leadership, and it means a lot of things. The responsibility to determine where you're going, how you're going to get there, and how do you build the right team and lead them to get there?
5 - Why Maturity Mapping Matters
We look to a model first created by NASA for their space missions. They set out nine Technology Readiness Levels or TRLs. We modified these slightly and refer to our levels as MTRLs. We integrated the MTRLs with the Triple Chasm Model so that companies could see where they are on their commercialization journey.
7 - Overview of External Vectors
We have defined 12 different meso-economic vectors, splitting these into external vectors, internal vectors, and composite vectors. Each of these vectors can be given a score for relative importance and execution performance to help you to estimate the impact of that particular vector. Companies typically have little influence over external vectors, but they can exploit the opportunities or constraints to shape their own commercial strategies. The first of these is the market space. This vector is based on defining current and new players in the market space and the relationships between them, including an explicit connection with customers. We look at how to build a market-space centric value chain. The next vector is proposition framing, competition, and regulation. This is where we look at how your proposition maps against your markets-based centric value chain, the impact it will have, the competitive advantage, and any collaborators or partners you might have. This can help us to assess partners, suppliers, and collaborators and understand competitive differentiation. Next, we look at customer definition, a critical part of any proposition. We look at how to categorise your customers, be they consumers, business customers, or affinity and knowledge centric groups. In particular, we will be looking at affinity and knowledge centric groups, which is an important new customer group we have identified. For example, clinicians in a hospital environment will buy in completely different ways to conventional consumers. Finally, we can look at the distribution, marketing, and sales vector, which covers channels to market and the modified seven P's, which describe product, positioning, price, place, promotion, process, and partners. By thinking through these factors, you will have a better understanding of the external vectors that can influence the trajectory of your business.
9 - Overview of Internal Vectors
Companies typically have far more influence over internal vectors. And these vectors can provide the key to maximising growth. Firstly, we will get you to think about how you characterise your technology from base technologies all the way through to products and services. There are many different ways to deploy your technology or service. Success depends on making the right choices. We'll show you how to manage your IP priorities to get you thinking through what is important right now and what will be important later. Everyone wants to design a great product or service. But we will get you to think through the best way to synthesise this, whether you use a customer-led design or a technology-led design or a combination of the two. We will go through the key manufacturing challenges once again, mapping the priorities with you. Your manufacturing priorities are likely to change as you move from charge customers to mainstream customers. We will also be looking at the challenges of talent, leadership, and culture. When you are at the early stages, you are likely to be focused on talent and teams. But as you grow, organisational structures and leadership become much more important. Finally, we look at how you can assess which funding sources are right for you, looking specifically at how you might be able to utilise customer revenue before looking at equity options. Once you have analysed all the internal factors, you will be better placed to assign resources to the most important areas for your current stage of growth.
11 - Next Steps
You might be wondering what can you take away from what you've learned? By using these tools, you should be able to get an indication of where you are on your growth journey. You should also be able to assess the vectors that are important to you now, as well as the vectors that will be important for you to reach your strategic growth target. So what can you do next? As you are no doubt aware, there are two books we have written looking into the topics covered in this course in more depth. These are Camels, Tigers & Unicorns and The Scale-Up Manual. We highly recommend these for anyone looking to dig deeper into the data and to gain a better understanding of the factors that affect the commercialization of innovations. We also deliver a range of scale-up programmes. These programmes are aimed specifically at company leaders committed to growing their businesses aggressively. On the programmes, you will work on the practical implementation of what you have learned. You will be able to participate in workshop sessions with world class coaches and mentors. You will also be able to develop, test, and implement robust growth strategies in our bespoke online platform. We have a range of business growth programmes aimed specifically at companies at different levels of maturity. Make sure you find the right one for you. Contact us for more information.
"The detailed vector-based tools have enabled us to shape our strategic priorities, design our business models and make critical decisions about our approach to scaling and commercialising our technology across a wide range of market spaces"
-- Haikal Pribadi, Founder GRAKN.AI