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Growth hacking: the new leadership development tool

leadership development

Personal growth is decisive in the private and in the workplace spheres, but especially in the leadership development area. In business, growth involves the acquisition of many tools and skills, but above all, it consists of a set of attitudes and mentality.

Among these, there is the growth hacking, a somewhat generic term, which has been widely used to define non-conventional strategies that allow to develop and expand a business. It means to grow by jumping or avoiding some steps. It is a disruptive strategy that emerges from the typical leadership development models of the software industry.

It is not just marketing and is based on the use of data. It presupposes a collaboration between departments for the exchange of information and for the implementation of growth processes and solutions. The key concepts are some of the same leadership values: process, experimentation, speed, growth, efficiency, and collaboration.

Therefore, we could say that growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation in the product and marketing channels to find the most efficient way to grow. This approach undermines the traditional independence structure between departments, creating a multifunctional team to make processes more fluid, automating as much as possible, and minimizing interruptions and loss of information.

This leadership development tool works on two characteristics related to the processes.

The first is continuous experimentation. Trials have never been so necessary and, at the same time, so easy and cheap, thanks to the digital revolution, which offers huge study groups that can be reached quickly and with little effort. However, you should not think that it has no cost. The budget is necessary, but it is assigned contrarily to the different parallel tests, with always fast results and limited resources. As in any scientific field, an experiment must be measurable, repeatable, and scalable.

The second characteristic is the focus on the evolution of the product. Partly it is a consequence and partly a cause of continuous experimentation. A test, in fact, provides the opportunity to check new products or new features of a product/service in the market. But it also allows a very direct relationship with customers, which brings endless discoveries about what they really want. We work in a strictly results-oriented perspective, which must be constantly monitored.

There is no doubt that the stagnation of growth is one of the most important problems of current companies. It is for all organizations, from start-ups, SMEs, to multinational giants. Depending on the sector and the maturity of the company, the concept of growth changes, but the structural need remains.
Certainly, some of the most famous and studied success stories of growth hacking are found in the new digital economy, such as Airbnb, LinkedIn or Dropbox. Small and agile start-ups that have become global giants and now continue with the same strategy aimed at aggressive and exponential growth. Sometimes even excessively.

Growth hacking is first and foremost a mindset, a new mental focus. Someone would even dare to define it as a philosophy. Lateral thinking, unconventional, unusual, outside the schemes… There are a thousand ways to express this concept, but the conclusion is that it is about achieving growth, daring in ways that in the past would not have been considered. It means focusing on growth, thinking outside the box to see a solution where apparently there is none.