Picture the scene. You are in charge of managing the relationship with one of the highest profile customers your business has and you have just received the phone call in which they tell you that the relationship is finished. Ended. No more.
Tragically for the Met Office, the world's most famous weather forecasting agency, this scene wasn't imagined, but became an unwelcome reality last week. A relationship held since 1922 with the BBC appears to be, notwithstanding some last ditch attempts to resuscitate it, all but dead. True, the Met Office will continue to provide some services (including, severe weather warnings) but the bulk of services, representing £3m of annual income, will be put out to tender, opening the door to global competitors.
Setting up and then growing a business can feel like a white knuckle ride - full of expectation and adrenaline, with the highs and lows that punctuate every turn. The experience can be exhilarating, exhausting and transformational.
One of the reasons that the business' development feels this way for those involved is because, consciously or subconsciously, they are riding one of nature's oldest predictive models - the S Curve.
The S Curve and business
The S curve, also known as the logistic curve, plots the growth of one variable against another. The relationship between the two variables follows this pattern because they are constrained by a limiting factor which determines the S shaped trajectory. Whether it's cell growth, economic forecasts, international development, stock market performance or, most famously, the product innovation cycle, the S Curve has been helpful in predicting future outcomes.
In the development of a business, the S curve is typically used to describe the performance of a company or a product over a period of time, often with cash, turnover, market share or profit as the quantum that defines success.
Chris Lorimer is an
experienced consultant who has helped many organisations to grow through his unique 4 Ps approach.