Don’t Add Capabilities – Add Expertise

Bob Wiesner | January 8, 2019

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Broad or deep.

Let’s say you have to choose. Let’s say it’s related to business growth.

Is your strategy to grow by adding capabilities? Or is it to grow by getting stronger at what you already do?

I know how many of my clients have answered that in the past.

Capabilities rule!

“We want more new business,” they say. “We’re going to hire for (or acquire or learn) new capabilities.”

Makes sense, right?

Maybe not.

You’re Suffering from Bad Breadth

Adding new capabilities to your organization is potentially the same as a restaurant adding new items. Increasing breadth of offering will inevitably make your business, or your strategy, or your culture more complicated.

Too much breadth is bad breadth. It increases complexity. And a complex business is a hard business to run and to grow effectively.

This complexity raises your costs, reduces your attention to your people, and spreads your marketing efforts thin without automatically making you a stronger competitor for new business.

It’s laid out well in this HBR article. Companies that tried to expand business by adding products suffered the heartbreak of bad breadth. Growth was harder. Results weren’t satisfactory.

Keep It Simple, Business Leader

Yes, growth is imperative. If you’re not growing you’re falling behind. You’re losing clients, customers, team members, enthusiasm.

In so many cases, an aggressive, investment-oriented approach to growth shouldn’t be adding new capabilities. Instead, the smarter play is this:

Get even better at what you already do well.

That’s the simplicity approach. Forget the complexity of capability expansion. Leverage what you’ve got, what you do well, to become even more desirable.

Your best driver for growth is going to be to expand your expertise in the areas you’re already known for. Do you do some work in the automotive segment? Get even smarter about cars, buyers, EVs, etc.

Do you know everything there is to know about how customers use social media to plan travel? Get even smarter about travel planning beyond social media. Be an expert in consumers and travel regardless of the communication channel.

Deepening your expertise makes you more famous for that expertise. You become the go-to resource for any client with an issue or opportunity for which your expertise might prove valuable. You’ll have more growth opportunities that will be simpler to close.

Want to learn how you can get more revenue growth from your existing capabilities?  Follow this link for WCG’s Revenue Growth solutions. Or shoot me an email at

Photo by francescoch on iStock

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