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RESEARCH REPORT

The generative growth edge

How to unleash organizational velocity to achieve scalable growth.

5-MINUTE READ

September 26, 2023

In brief

  • Companies are at an inflection point. Old growth models can’t keep pace with change, leaving leaders with existential choices to make.

  • Adopting a life-centric approach is key: It helps companies understand and react to customer needs and embed organizational velocity to drive relevance.

  • Speed is the X factor: Our research provides insight on how companies can become Generative Growth Companies to deliver results—faster.

The new velocity of everything all at once

Our recent survey of 970 global executives reveals that, despite investing in new products, services and businesses to drive relevance, growth is often underwhelming. While 81% of executives invested more capital in these areas over the past three years, 46% of their companies had single digit revenue growth, and 10% had a decline in revenue. In addition, 60% of executives say it takes their company one year or more to adapt to changing customer needs. Companies are at a breaking point and those without a strategy for responding to customer needs at speed may not survive.

Three signs it’s time to take action for growth:

67%

of businesses are limited by tunnel vision: they only see large companies selling similar products as their top competitors

73%

of businesses aren’t addressing their customers’ problems: they’re chasing solutions without first asking what needs to be solved

83%

of businesses are stuck in silos: they don’t collaborate aggressively, which leads to fragmented experiences

From freezing to freedom

Everyone is looking for ways to develop products and services faster to meet customers’ expectations. Generative growth companies create a flywheel effect where speed and quality continually build through every phase of the development process, compounding the value delivered.

Generative growth companies are life-centric. This means that they see customers as multidimensional individuals who constantly evolve in response to unpredictable external forces—and adapt their businesses to meet them. They are able and empowered to evolve in this way because of their organizational velocity that frees them to move at the speed of life. These companies use emerging technologies, such as generative AI, as a tool to fully embrace life centricity and increase organizational velocity to deliver business outcomes faster. The human-machine symbiosis frees these companies from endlessly cycling harder and faster, without results.

If companies in the Accenture Global 2000 had adopted a generative growth strategy in 2022, they could have grown by a combined additional $800 billion in that year alone. To put this into perspective, a $35 billion company today could potentially generate an extra $900 million in revenue over one year, and up to $7.9 billion in additional revenue over the next five years.

Generative growth, by the numbers

1.6x

higher revenue from new innovation efforts that continuously validate product and service relevance

19%

greater likelihood to grow new and organic revenue faster from adapting products within a year

17%

uplift in new and organic revenue growth from rebalancing their growth portfolio at speed

How to become a generative growth company

Our research has uncovered the essentials to becoming a generative growth company—and identified the actions that organizations need to take to move from legacy to life centricity.

1. See customers as people—at speed

Relevance comes from knowing customers as people with kaleidoscopic lives—full of colorful and conflicting needs and desires that are always changing. Companies that revalidate their products and services at least once a year to ensure they are still solving customers’ needs realized a 24% higher revenue growth rate between 2020 and 2022, compared to peers who conducted such assessments less frequently. Techniques such as big data analytics, social listening and biometric measurements give generative growth companies a much richer view of customers and helps to show them in the larger context of environmental, economic and institutional forces.

Exceptional outcomes faster with generative AI

  • Find the next big thing first: Mine for insights and trends at the edges of society, by directing generative AI to unlock niche customer details.

  • Create life-centric data funnels: Analyze multiple listening streams into a single model for a deeper, more holistic view of individual customers.

Minna Bank wanted to redefine banking, creating a digital service built on the cloud. The takeaway? Everything was designed to integrate with people’s lives and evolve alongside changing behaviors.

2. Solve for relevance—at speed

Generative growth companies use experimentation and co-creation with customers to adapt products based on their needs. Speed pays off here: these companies are twice as likely to outperform their peers on revenue growth. By building in response to real needs and leveraging their proprietary assets in new ways to create more value for customers, these companies solve for relevance.

Exceptional outcomes faster with generative AI

  • Cultivate innovation: Companies can enrich their systems for developing new ideas, experimenting and failing fast—and boost the potential of generative AI through iteration.

  • Fast-track from ideation to launch: Develop high-quality minimal viable products, with more urgency by using generative AI to do the “heavy lifting” of validation. The tech accelerates prototyping, while humans protect relevance, responsibility and quality.

3. Simplify for ease of experience—at speed

It’s not enough for a product or service to be great—the experience that surrounds it (all touchpoints from purchasing to servicing) must be great, too. Generative growth companies solve for external complexity by eliminating internal complexity. They break down organizational silos and flatten hierarchies to democratize decision-making, so that employees feel empowered to move quickly to solve customer problems. Those that aggressively integrated customer functions led by empathy (focusing on what’s best for customers) realized a 39% uplift in inorganic revenue growth.

Exceptional outcomes faster with generative AI

  • Trade “off-the-shelf” for “on-the-fly:” Use generative AI’s real-time and granular data analysis capabilities to shift from pre-packaged products and services to dynamically created solutions.

  • Commit to internal change: Develop a governance structure and appoint a leader who will make decisions on AI technologies and guide organizational change.

Sixty-seven percent of companies that use empathy and inclusion at speed in their product development process outperform peers on customer satisfaction.

4. Scale for growth—at speed

Generative growth companies set up their organization to be proactive in their quest for growth. They minimize the risk of scaling new products and services by creating executive committees specifically trained in growth strategies and investments to advise and streamline decisions. They also frequently assess the longevity of their legacy products through revalidating their relevance; those that phase out old products with velocity achieved 19% higher revenue growth from new and organic sources.

Exceptional outcomes faster with generative AI

  • Break through with technology: Be bold in using generative AI to redefine processes from end-to-end to create top-line opportunities.

  • Collaborate with a co-pilot: Empower people to partner with generative AI by assessing roles for which machines can do the core transactional tasks, thus freeing humans to take on more creative and strategic work.

Achieving the generative growth edge

Amid rapid global change, opportunity is there for the taking— if companies fuel their organizational velocity to create the future.  Winners will tap into their generative growth potential, by bringing humans and machines together to think, do and adapt. They will see customers as people, solve for relevance, simplify for ease of experience and scale for growth. And they’ll have the foundation to set a new performance frontier through continuous reinvention.

So, the urgent question for every executive is: Are you ready to make the organizational changes needed to deliver new value in radically transformative ways? Those who answer "yes" have just taken their first step to gaining the generative growth edge.

WRITTEN BY

Baiju Shah

Chief Strategy Officer & Global Gen AI Lead – Accenture Song

Padraig Connolly

Growth & Product Innovation Global Co-lead and North America Lead – Accenture Song

Ambrogio Terrizzano

Growth & Product Innovation Global Co-lead and EMEA Lead – Accenture Song

David Kidder

Managing Director, Growth & Product Innovation – Accenture Song

Gaurav Khetan

Research Manager – Accenture Song