Four Myths of Growth: Myth 1, All Decisions Must Be Perfect


Mont Phelps is president and CEO at NWN, and Jane Linder is Managing Director at NWN, a CRN Fast Growth IT solution provider.

When it comes to succeeding in the IT industry, bigger is always better. Or is it?

Over five consecutive years, NWN Corporation has been on CRN’s Fast Growth 100 list, but growth is not our goal. We believe that sustaining growth is a byproduct of doing all the right things to build a great company. In this series of blogs, we’ll try to point out the myths of growth and tell you how we see things differently from many others in the industry.

Myth #1: Sustainable growth is all about making the right decisions.

The executive team is huddled around the conference table late into the evening. The economy is uncertain; cash is tight; and they have to decide whether to fund an investment in Cloud Services. They have gotten all the support and advice possible from their vendor partners, but they still have to pony up a sizeable chunk of money as well as time from critical people to get into this line of business. The CEO and his vice president of sales are for it, but the CFO is reluctant. Does the company’s future hang on the choice they make in this critical moment?

We think not.

At NWN, we think it’s more important than making the perfect choice at this juncture --- to make the many decisions and actions that come afterward that turn the actual decision—whatever it was—into one that pays off. No companies make the right decisions all the time. Companies that grow sustainable are no different. They set themselves apart by correcting really bad decisions quickly. They are not afraid to admit they blew it.

And when NWN makes a risky bet, especially one that takes a while to show results, we drive it relentlessly toward success. Parents will recognize the process. They don’t just have children and hope for the best. They nurture them, coach them, and guide them along the way. It’s the same with important management decisions. Leadership teams launch important initiatives, fully commit to them…. and then do their best to see these all the way to success.

Next Wednesday, we'll discuss Myth 2: High growth companies need to be controlled from the top.