Growth Innovation

  • Customer Focus Roundup

    Finding, attracting and keeping customers – while keeping them happy – is a top priority for any business, in any industry. In the middle market, your view of customers has likely shifted from your early days but the basics remain. You may now be looking at building new generations of customers or deepening your existing relationships or even going out and finding entirely new customer bases. No matter what your middle market organization plans on doing in the future, customers will play a huge role. From building a raving fan base to learning how to let customers help themselves, Brandt Handley of G4ROI compiles his best articles about customers.  Read More >
  • Unique Market Research Techniques for Middle Market Companies

    Gathering market intelligence is invaluable to understanding and adapting to the ever-changing competitive landscape. Many companies use standard market research techniques such as customer surveys, focus groups, and the purchase of analyst reports to keep abreast of the market. Midsized companies have it rough, though, with well-funded large enterprises at one end of the spectrum and disruptive startups at the other end. With such intense competition to contend with, standard research just won’t cut it. You need research that uncovers deeper, transformative insights to give you a competitive edge.  Read More >
  • The Paradox of Success

    Research has demonstrated that as an entrepreneur’s self-efficacy rises their risk-taking propensity rises and they increasingly rely on their own abilities eschewing the wisdom of external voices such as advisors or their own management team.  This highlights some distinguishing features that differentiate successful entrepreneurs from managers.  One of the most pronounced differences results from how their skills are developed.    Read More >
  • Installed Building Products

    IBP is the second largest insulation installer serving the residential new construction market in the United States. They have 125+ locations servicing 48 states and are a leading installer of garage doors, rain gutters, closet shelving, shower doors, mirrors, fireplaces and bath and door hardware. NCMM had the chance to speak to Jeff Edwards, the CEO of IBP, to learn about the company’s history, growth, and the opportunities they have working in the middle market.

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  • M-O-V-E Your Middle Market Company Forward: Bestselling Author and CEO Patty Azzarello Discusses How to Effectively Execute Strategic Initiatives

    Best-selling business author and CEO Patty Azzarello is the founder of Azzarello Group, which works with CEOs and management teams as they drive business transformation. Ms. Azzarello’s latest book is Move: How Decisive Leaders Execute Strategy Despite Obstacles, Setbacks and Stalls. The M-O-V-E model that Azzarello details involves: M for middle, which is where progress typically stalls; O for organization, meaning you need the right team; V for valor, because leaders need courage to drive change; and E for everyone, because the entire organization must be engaged around the change.   Read More >
  • 1Q 2017 Middle Market Indicator Infographic

    The infographic of the 1Q 2017 Middle Market Indicator illustrates the state of revenue and employment growth, confidence and capital investment plans of the middle market in the first quarter of 2017. Actual and projected revenue and employment growth rates continue to rise significantly, and economic confidence is keeping pace, with all measures at their highest levels since the inception of the Middle Market Indicator in 2011.  Read More >
  • A Culture of Innovators

    Innovative thinking emerges when every member considers the best, most resourceful way to meet demand, satisfy customers, and see growth opportunities. This entrepreneurial mindset allows multi-faceted problem solving and resource planning to satisfy newly identified demand, as well as find new opportunities.  Read More >
  • Customer Experience: Where’s the Love?

    More service providers than enough fail to comprehend that the customer experience is a blend of the human interaction and the emotions that are evoked and measured against the customer’s expectations. It’s a function of process and people, and both sides need to be addressed to ensure superior service delivery.    Read More >
  • YETI

    YETI (formerly YETI Coolers) is an Austin, Texas-based outdoor consumer goods company. With luxury products including high-end coolers, stainless steel drinkware, and branded apparel, YETI is the classic American entrepreneurial story. It was founded in 2006 by Roy and Ryan Seiders who were serious outdoor enthusiasts frustrated by the cheaply built coolers available on the market. These two brothers found a need in the market, set out to fill that need, and ended up with a very successful business model.  We recently spoke to Blake McHenry, VP of Talent at YETI, about some of the company’s unique successes and challenges.

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  • Effective Business Writing for Your Middle Market Company: An Interview with Author and Business Writing Guru Josh Bernoff

    Business writer Josh Bernoff is a coach who helps organizations improve their writing. Bernoff’s latest book is called Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What You Mean. He recently penned a Harvard Business Review article called Bad Writing is Destroying Your Company Productivity, which explained in detail the costs of bad writing for business organizations.   Read More >
  • Making Middle Market Companies More Agile & Data-Driven: An Interview with Author Jeff Gothelf

    Jeff Gothelf is co-author (with Josh Seiden) of Sense & Respond: How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously. The book is a fascinating exploration of how digital technologies and collaborative practices have enabled more agile ways of working, allowing companies to put the fast-evolving needs of customers first. Jeff Gothelf is a leading thinker and practitioner in the areas of user experience, design, and agile practices. He believes that middle market companies are uniquely positioned to develop new, more agile styles of working that prioritize quick adjustments to their offerings based upon real-time market feedback.   Read More >
  • Middle Market Companies Are Leading a Resurgence of Analog: An Interview with “The Revenge of Analog” Author David Sax

    David Sax is an award-winning author and business journalist. Sax’s latest book, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, was named by the New York Times and Inc. magazine as a “Best Book of 2016.” Sax’s book describes a surprising trend: businesses that have stayed with analog production are now making a comeback, despite all the attention on digital. Sax explores how a number of middle market companies, such as United Record Pressing in Nashville (which is taking advantage of the vinyl record boom) and Shinola in Detroit (a watch manufacturer), are leading analog’s resurgence. 
     
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  • 2016 Annual Report: 5 Years of Fueling the Engine of Growth

    As the National Center for the Middle Market celebrates its five-year anniversary, we are energized by the middle market’s evolution from obscurity to acclaim. And we are focused on the transformation our organization has undergone along the way. The Center has moved beyond building awareness of the importance of this critical economic sector into serving as a key catalyst for fueling and tuning the “engine of growth,” ensuring the middle market’s peak performance.  Read More >
  • 2016 Annual Report: 5 Years of Fueling the Engine of Growth

    As the National Center for the Middle Market celebrates its five-year anniversary, we are energized by the middle market’s evolution from obscurity to acclaim. And we are focused on the transformation our organization has undergone along the way. The Center has moved beyond building awareness of the importance of this critical economic sector into serving as a key catalyst for fueling and tuning the “engine of growth,” ensuring the middle market’s peak performance.  Read More >

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