An interesting article in on this topic, which is probably front of mind for quite a few organisations right now, in strategy+business. The article comes up with ‘the frugal growth triangle’, on the working relationships between business units, corporate and shared functions. Unfortunately, while there are some good suggestions in it, there are also plenty of platitudes .. get business units accountable, connect innovation to consumer insight, have business units ‘pull’ services from the infrastructure, choose core capabilities to invest in, leverage for growth. .. as if you’d ever recommend anyone not to do those things!
What our work often shows is way, way simpler – that firms are often just deploying entirely the wrong levels of resources to different business lines. In particular, huge expansion opportunities never stand a chance because of obsession with current cost control leaves them with nothing like the effort that would actually make them work.