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Continuous improvement in growth phases

think: act CONTENT

2011

Following on from an unprecedented collapse in 2009, the German economy has, since mid-2010, been enjoying an unbridled boom. And that despite Europe's alarming debt crisis. But companies could – almost literally – end up choking on their new-found exuberance. Uncontrolled growth that happens too fast can pose just as stiff a challenge as a sudden crisis.

Having only just got out of the mire of costcutting and restructuring, shifting into top gear can be a real shock to the system. So how are companies handling the surprisingly robust upswing? How do they rigorously shift up from the crisis, cost-cutting and short-time work to an aggressive policy of investment and recruitment without forgetting that the next downturn is never far away?

Markets have to be developed relentlessly. Investment planning must be sustainable. Operations need to be expanded, but only as much as necessary. New recruits should be added prudently, motivated and enabled to unfold their full potential. Such truisms – the stuff of any run-of-the-mill management seminar – may not sound very spectacular. In actual fact, however, they are essential to the high art of managing growth.

The challenge? Not letting low costs stifle innovation, impair quality or hinder employee development.

The solution? A new kind of continuous improvement (CI) that brings together what belongs together – and gets you in shape for growth. In practice, the ideal, made-to-measure continuous improvement model will always be a blend of different approaches.

Bearing this in mind, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has developed a nine-point strategy that facilitates tailor-made solutions and accommodates the specific needs of the individual company. Read more about it in our latest think: act CONTENT.

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