Resource Allocation As A Growth Strategy

October 19, 2011

In July 2011, the Boston Consulting Group published a robust analysis of the global asset-management market, “Global Asset Management 2011: Building on Success.”  The study covers a wide range of topics, from a general overview to global trends to strategies for growth, both at home and abroad.

As I read through the study, I took note of many interesting facts, statistics, and general trends, thinking about where and how these things are reflected in the business environment in general and specifically in the PORTIA space.

When I got to the “how-to” section dedicated to growth, I was excited to read how BCG translated all of the information presented into actionable strategies.  Because that’s what really matters most — what we do with the information and how we use it to better our business.  An unexpected takeaway for me, in the sea of opportunity discussed?  The importance of resource allocation.  While presented as a standalone pillar for growth, what struck me is that how resources get allocated should be, at some level, a key component of every growth strategy.

Consider some of the recommended avenues for achieving growth that the study highlights — having a clear and compelling value proposition, focusing on the end customer, and entering new markets, among others.  Then also consider whether you can successfully implement any of these strategies without making sure you have the right resources aligned behind them.  Any strategic objective, to be successful, needs consistent focus and oversight — in terms of articulating it, communicating it, implementing it, overseeing its effectiveness, and refining it where it’s necessary.

You don’t need me to tell you — despite the rebound discussed in the study — that the economy continues to sputter.  And the related reality is that even if it returns to a period of sustained growth, the business climate has changed for good.  For instance, investors won’t stop demanding transparency or higher levels of service “just” because they are making more money.

Asset Managers need to change their strategies in response to — and to be successful in — this new arena.  Doing so is particularly challenging given that so many competing variables are at play.  Firms are trying to do more with less and are running much leaner as competition intensifies and the market becomes more demanding.  And that’s part of why resource allocation is so critical; the success of the business really does depend on ensuring that the right people are doing the right things in the best possible ways in support of the overall strategic objectives.

So how do you tackle growth imperatives when you have fewer resources to allocate?  You need to find time.  Sometimes you need to make time.  You do this in part by looking at tasks and processes and finding ways to improve and streamline them.  You buy products and services that deliver operational efficiencies.  You look to outsource functions that are not core competencies to better focus on delivering the value proposition (hopefully you’ve already allocated resources to defining yours!).  You have to do things like this because you need time to focus on which products you offer customers, which markets you go into, how you differentiate yourself based on service, and whatever else you’ve deemed important.  Without devoting resources to these core strategies, you can’t be successful.  Resource allocation isn’t just about deciding who should be working on what—it’s finding time to do it right, and to ensure that each minute spent is spent in support of critical missions.

How are you finding time to address critical business challenges?  What strategies are you employing to do more with less?  How is your organization changing to deliver more value to customers?

– Nicole Comeau, Product Manager

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