Help to Grow: Management Course | Kingston University

Start-up to Scale-up – Business world

You may have successfully established a start-up but now awaits for you an entirely different ballgame which you wouldn’t be able to win if you don’t know how to retain the main ingredients that initially helped your business started in the first place.

Let’s explore.

Ranjay Gulati, a Harvard Business School Professor calls it ‘a soul’. His recent research explored what mature companies would require to retain as they continue to grow intro larger and long-lasting organisations.

He says that all successful organisations have one thing in common: a soul. Their businesses have an essence which distinguishes them from others and oozes an energy with which a business attracts long-term growth and success. He warns that three components that compose a soul of any business, if not retained, can jolt the foundations of a company.

Those three elements are, business intent, customer connection and employee experience. By strategic business intent, he means to say, it is something intangible in start-ups whose presence company founders sense it. This ‘something essential’ translates into their offerings; service or products, which is eventually felt by employees, customers, and stakeholders they work closely with. This energetic enthusiasm which is felt at the beginning helps companies continue to inspire others. If the spirit is there, organisations can leverage engagement, remain agile and innovative. In the absence of a soul, everyone feels the loss.

Ranjay Gulati extensive research on more than dozen fast-growth venture and over 200 interviews with their founders and executives pointed out towards the second element of the soul, ‘Customer Connection’. He observed all successful companies shared a close bond with their customers. One of the company’s founders were so passionate about their brand, they even got a tattoo on their feet or legs. The idea behind customer connection is to intimately understand the needs of the people company’s offerings are targeted for and create a sense of belonging – what they feel and need, then offer them solutions to make their lives easier, better, recognisable.

The third element of a business’ soul is employee experience. This goes far and wide. Companies that create a space for autonomy and creativity fosters greater engagement and faster growth. First establishing the business intent, companies then create a space for employees to innovate within frameworks and guidelines.

To learn more about the Strategic innovation and organisational design: