Decoding the formula for superior performance

Deep dive into the Food & Beverage Industry


Decoding the formula for superior performance

Deep dive into the Retail industry


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Decoding the formula for superior performance

To discover what makes companies successful in today’s challenging economy, Deloitte undertook a comprehensive study for the VBO-FEB to determine which management practices contribute most to sustained and superior corporate performance. Discover the winning three-rule formula that has allowed a series of Super Achievers to consistently outperform their respective markets over the last 10 years.

Gaining insight

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Study for the VBO-FEB

To gain a better insight into this issue, Deloitte Consulting, in collaboration with the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium, undertook an in-depth analysis of the financial performance of 5,050 companies with significant business in Belgium.

The resulting report, entitled 'Decoding the formula for superior performance', provides insights into some of the key strategic choices corporate leaders face. Namely: How do we create value for customers? How do we capture value for our stakeholders? How do we adapt when the world around us changes?

Out of the initial list of companies, we uncovered 204 companies which we call Super Achievers as a result of their consistent performance in terms of revenue growth and return on assets. When allocating scarce resources among competing priorities, Super Achievers systematically prioritise initiatives that contribute most in the long run to realising agility, value and revenue.

“Our study taught us that the roads to success are not as numerous as they seem. In fact, at first glance the formula for excellence is relatively straightforward.”


Jean-Michel Mollo, Partner and Strategy Practice Leader Deloitte Consulting

Three rule formula

The Consulting team found that three simple rules, which – when applied together - always appear to make the difference.

Rule 1

Successful companies have a clear-cut policy on investments. Even in difficult times, they would rather invest in creating value (innovation, quality, better customer service, and so on) than in reducing costs.

Rule 2

Successful companies prioritise increasing revenue over reducing costs. While keeping an eye on operational efficiency, they continuously look for new ways to strengthen their top line, achieve higher revenue than competitors, charge higher prices, or reach out to more customers.

Rule 3

Successful companies make decisions quickly. Speed of action is embedded in their corporate culture, and they encourage employees to innovate and look for rapid ways to experiment with different ideas and models. They also expect and accept failure.


In order to grasp the full potential of future growth opportunities, today’s corporate leaders will need to re-invent their business (sometimes fundamentally), adjust to the rapidly changing environment, and establish advantage for the better times ahead.

“Our three rules are simple enough to be actionable, accurate enough to be trusted, and general enough to be applied under just about any circumstances. We think about the rules the way one might think about a compass. They point the way towards sustainable growth.”


Jean-Michel Mollo, Partner and Strategy Practice Leader Deloitte Consulting


Jean-Michel Mollo

Partner, Consulting


Nathalie Parent

Senior Manager, Strategy & Operations


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