Small Giants by Bo Burlingham poses big challenges to those who assume that by definition growth is a good thing.
Consultants, accountants, bankers and business schools all tell us that thriving companies grow their profits and revenues year-on-year (and if you aren’t doing it then you feel like you must be failing!).
But bigger is not necessarily better!
Burlingham looks at businesses that choose ‘the road less travelled’… they reject the pressures of endless growth and instead they focus on being the best at what they do, creating a great workplace, legendary customer service, and a sense of community (both locally in the workplace).
Six attributes of these ‘businesses with mojo’ are:
- The founders/leaders recognised the full range of choices they had about the type of company they could create. They hadn’t accepted the standard menu of options as a given.
- They had allowed themselves to question the usual definitions of success in business and to imagine possibilities other than the ones all of us are familiar with.
- The leaders had overcome the enormous pressures on successful companies to take the paths they had not chosen and did not necessarily want to follow. They remained in control rather than accommodating themselves to a business shaped by outside forces.
- Each company had an extraordinarily intimate relationship with the local community, with customers and suppliers, and in the workplace.
- Because they were privately owned, they had the freedom to develop their own management systems and practices
- The leaders had unbridled, limitless passion for their business and about their service/product.
We currently have a number of clients who endlessly beat themselves up because they are not achieving year-on-year exponential growth…
- Maybe the growth lifestyle doesn’t suit them?
- Maybe their business hadn’t been designed to grow?
- Maybe you don’t want to sacrifice all you have created to create a Frankenstein’s monster?
- Maybe there’s more to life than selling the business for a huge profit?
Success At What Cost article
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