As an insurgent, you declared war on your industry on behalf of underserved or new customer segments. You were little, but you were the disrupter, ignoring industry boundaries or the rules of the game as defined by the industry incumbents. You thrived in the turbulence you created or exploited. Much of your growth came from the risks you took. You pushed your team to ignore conventional wisdom, and you argued, sometimes at the risk of strategic discipline, that your horizons were limitless. Continue reading
Grab some popcorn; we’re going to watch a little movie and then have a discussion. The movie is a short version of a story we’ve told here before—the story of Jaipur Rugs, the story of Founder’s Mentality in action. Please enjoy.
I love entrepreneur Steve Blank’s phrase “hacking the corporate culture.” While he focuses on how to increase agility and adaptability to increase innovation, I think the phrase applies more broadly. Over the past two weeks, I was at two workshops (one in Europe, the other in China) at the division level of huge multinational corporations. In both, the question discussed was: “How do we create change in a large organization were we are not at the top and don’t completely control our destiny?” Or, as Blank might ask, “How do we hack the corporate culture?” Continue reading
I was pleased to learn recently that my blog post on “shock reports” was one of the five most popular small-business posts published in the Wall Street Journal’s The Experts blogs.
The term shock report, you may recall, was actually a garbled but evocative translation of rapport d’étonnement. It refers to a tool used by businesses, government and academia to tap the insights of new recruits or students by asking what most astonished them after joining the company or institution. The goal is to capture the collective wisdom of first impressions before the organization’s culture begins to shape the way new recruits see things. Continue reading
This is the third of nine blog posts examining the elements of Founder’s Mentality: Insurgency, frontline obsession and owner mindset. Here, we look at limitless horizon, one of the sub-elements of insurgency.
Founders of great insurgent companies are restless. They are leading a revolution and are not content to be constrained by industry boundaries. This makes their mission limitless—they have no ability to declare victory because there is always another market to conquer.
This sense of a limitless horizon is one of the defining characteristics of insurgency, which, along with frontline obsession and an owner mindset, are key elements of Founder’s Mentality (see figure below). Continue reading
This is the second of nine blog posts examining the elements of Founder’s Mentality: Insurgency, frontline obsession and owner mindset. Here, we look at “spikiness,” one of the sub-elements of insurgency.
Companies with high Founder’s Mentality have an extraordinary sense of insurgency, a frontline obsession and an owner mindset. Within those three overarching elements are nine sub-elements (see figure below), and it is within those elements that the richness of the Founder’s Mentality truly comes to life. Continue reading
This is the first of nine blog posts examining the elements of Founder’s Mentality: Insurgency, frontline obsession and owner mindset. Here, we look at bold mission, one of the sub-elements of insurgency.
As 2015 draws to a close, we thought we’d offer you another round of lessons from the Developing Market 100. The DM100 is Bain’s initiative to assemble some of the top insurgents in the world into a single forum to co-create solutions to what we call the growth paradox: Growth creates complexity, and complexity kills growth. Continue reading