Growth is good. Really good.

Growth elevates short-term performance. Growth has a disproportionate effect on valuation. Growth – especially organic growth – generates intangible goodwill and positive momentum among customers, influencers, analysts, and employees.

Here's the challenge: organizations too often treat growth like a disconnected, functionally driven art form rather than the interdisciplinary, data-driven science it should be.

The core revenue-facing functions – Marketing, Sales, and Service – all operate in silos. Each function is trying to do its individual job and maximize the impact of its activities on customers and revenue. Managers optimize the parts – brand, demand generation, pipeline conversion, retention rates, etc. – while coordination between the three is episodic, temporary, and heavily influenced by the personalities involved. They allocate resources as a cascade along organizational lines using historical precedents as the primary guide.

Even when this approach works, managers generally celebrate only the fact that growth happened, since they usually cannot explain why. Teams assume that someone else will take responsibility for the whole. When cross-functional collaboration happens, it requires Herculean efforts to marshal the collective troops and achieve one-time, almost artisanal objectives.

Who is ultimately responsible for coordination of key growth assets and initiatives in the business? That often falls on one person: the CEO. ...

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