Eternal ‘Growth’ companies and their mindset!
This article is not about startups or companies going through a ‘growth’ phase. All companies that see success go through growth phase but companies that stand the ‘test of time’ & continue to re-invent themselves to always stay relevant to customers are eternal ‘growth’ companies, imho. This article is about them and their external and internal mindset. Pick any such company and you will notice some or all of the following dimensions true for them,
- Purpose: All of them have a ‘purpose’ that is bigger than their products, services, revenue, margin & profits. Their relationship & connection with their customers is beyond their products and services
They focus on stakeholder value instead of just shareholder value
- Customer Obsession: Such companies have a special emphasis on ‘listening to the customer needs’ ALL the time and adapt to their pace
Your customer WILL change, the products & services they need WILL change, the way and where they engage with you WILL change and what they expect from you WILL change. You need to meet them where they are and not where you stand.
- Leadership Maturity: They have incredible leaders, who are humble and grounded yet quick in taking action and bringing a vision to reality. They emphasize empowerment and building world class teams, and promote innovation, experimentation, learning and growth.
Leaders are ultimate custodians of company’s ‘purpose’ and should be ready to make tough decisions, when needed.
- Startup Mentality: As companies grow big, there is a tendency to think ‘you know the game’ and loose your focus. No matter how much you grow, every endeavor should be connected to your purpose and executed with intensity and passion equal to when you started. And since you are always on a path through experimentation, all successes & failures should be considered a step towards insights & learnings.
- Internal Agility: This goes hand-in-hand with leadership maturity. The company should make deliberate efforts to keep their ability to quickly pivot to opportunities, by maintaining internal agility.
Employees shouldn’t be bounded by their job descriptions & be ready to take on new adventures and push their limits.
Eternal ‘growth’ companies adopt an Infinite Mindset (from Simon Sinek), with no finish line in sight. It would be interesting for companies to evaluate themselves against these dimensions regularly (just like annual employee survey). That could offer areas that they need to always keep working on (& check & adjust), to stay on an eternal growth path.
Please share your experiences with eternal ‘growth’ companies & other dimensions that you feel make them unique. Thank you!
Also note that these thoughts are entirely my own.