Business Growth Strategies for 2011… Why Companies Fail When It Comes to Best Practices and Dilbert

November 23, 2010

OpenView partners was founded in 2006 with the mission of investing growth capital in expansion stage software companies and then helping these companies scale their businesses and become great companies.

One of our core strategies around building great companies is helping them adopt best practices across all the major operational areas of the company. In fact OpenView built a team of operational and strategic consultants, called OpenView Labs, who work with the portfolio management teams. You can check out the type of work they do by visiting their website here and you can sign up for their weekly newsletter of tips and tricks here for ideas on how to grow and manage your business.

By encouraging the adoption of best practices around not just sales and marketing but also product management, product development, finance, customer support and professional services, we are helping to ensure that no specific operational area holds them back from achieving their true potential as the company scales. These best practices will also help reduce the need for additional venture capital since the company is more capital efficient because of an improved economic model. This is what operational execution is all about and what separates the successful companies from the rest of the pack.

However, saying you will adopt best practices and actually doing it successfully are two different stories. While I was doing my weekly reading I came across a blog in Harvard Business Review that I wanted to share with founders and/or CEOs looking for business growth strategies. These strategies include adopting best practices to improve their management team’s operational execution going into 2011. The blog was titled “Why Best Practices Are Hard to Practice”. You can read about it here.

This is a quick read. Two points Ron Ashkenas makes in his blog are:

  • Lack of Adaption
  • Lack of Adoption

I can relate to this because of my 30 years of operational experience in the software industry as an executive always focused on improving operational execution.

By the way if I had to pick the toughest one when I was at Oracle, I would have to say it was lack of adoption. If the management team does not buy into it, commit to it and live it, you can’t expect your employees to practice it either.

Adoption starts at the top!

All the best and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.