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Sherpa Growth Insights

This blog is for owners and executives of growth-oriented businesses who share our growth mindset and passion for building value. Here, we share insights and experiences in our growth journey, things we learned with or from our clients, that can help you reach your next mountaintop. Enjoy!

5 Hard Truths About Growth

Posted on: February 13th, 2020

Five “hard truths” to thrive at the intersection of innovation and execution.


Profitable sales growth is a lot like healthy weight loss. We are all for it, until the coach starts talking about hitting the gym four times a week.

Similarly, as entrepreneurs and executives we are all for profitable sales growth, until the project turns from ideating and strategizing to tactics, investing, and accountability for execution.

A recent HBR article The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures provides insights into the balancing act required to let creativity thrive, while managing the discipline required for innovation to deliver profitable sales growth.

Whether you’re focused on creating growth or managing growth, I found these five hard truths helpful reminders in our journey to grow and thrive at the intersection of innovation and execution:

  1. You have to tolerate failure – while being intolerant of incompetence
  2. Experiment – in a rigorously disciplined way
  3. Create a culture in which it’s safe to speak up – with brutal candor
  4. Encourage collaboration – with accountability
  5. Collaboration thrives in non-hierarchical structures – which require strong leadership

In a blog last summer, I talked about using the V-PAC hack – short for “Visibly Prioritize, Adapt, Collaborate” – to create and manage growth. As we climb the energizing and demanding mountain towards more profitable revenue streams, V-PAC is another way to embrace these five hard truths about innovative cultures:

Here is a link to the HBR article The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures. Enjoy.