I recently heard the expression, “you can’t cut your way to top-line growth”, and it prompted this cartoon. I’ve certainly felt at times that more companies are equipped with “cutting tools” than “growing tools”. Also, the typical Stage Gate process seems better designed for trimming rather than for boosting ideas. I also think that companies often put all of their hopes in one or two new products, and then leave the rest of their pipeline pretty dry, rather than have lots of sappling ideas at various stages of growth. That can be a problem when those few “hero” ideas get watered down beyond all recognition and then are launched anyway because there’s nothing else there.
This type of cartoon usually prompts a few “how can you be so cynical” emails, but I really don’t feel cynical about the “people” or the “ideas” themselves. I just think the standard “process” could be designed better, and an emphasis on cutting can hamstring real growth.