We live in a fast-changing and innovative world where commentators report that two-thirds of the companies that will make up the S&P stock market index in a decade’s time have yet to be created. We live in a time where Uber has changed the transport industry, Amazon has turned first the book and then the retail industry upside down, Airbnb has transformed how we holiday and Google, well, Google helps us to find new ways to understand the world we live in. But why didn’t Waterstones or Barnes and Noble launch Amazon, or Thomas Cook launch Airbnb? Why didn’t the UK capitalise on its’ invention of the computer ? Why does the US always take the lead in business success ?
In the UK the need to grow such industries is more important than ever. We need companies that are not just innovative but are capable of growing into businesses that employ hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and across the globe. Brexit coupled with the pandemic underlines the importance of this more than ever.
The real success of Jeff Bezos is not that he is innovative but that he is resilient. Apple’s biggest success is not their innovation but their focus – their confidence in knowing when to say ‘no’ . Branson’s greatest asset is his ability to fail. There is no such thing as failure – you either win or you learn but staying true to that requires great leadership.
The UK is a creative and innovative country. What we lack is great business leaders.
Create 10 ( more if you wish to scale up quicker ) new companies right across the country in varying industries focusing on all types of business – technology , cleantech, manufacturing , logistics , retail, finance, travel etc
Focus on finding and backing leaders to lead them ie focus on the leader and not the product. Use personality testing to find the right personalities and skills.
Fully back the leader. Provide a significant equity based incentive. If he or she wishes to bring others in and share such incentive that is his or her call.
Work with the leader to put a team of mentors and support around him or her. All great leaders have unlimited mindsets . Working with the right coaches and mentors frees this mindset. He or she must choose them ( as a by free the leader from bureaucracy by requiring a mentor to provide any report required by stakeholders )
Having chosen the leader and his or her team, finance the involvement of management consultants to find the right product. Successful businesses are all about People Process Product ( and pricing ). Give the leader the full control of the consultants. Management consultants overcomplicate everything – they believe it shows value. Good leaders simplify everything. The focus is to develop a product that is both innovative and capable of scaling up to become an employer of more than 100000 people.
Provide the business with the necessary finance to kickstart the business. Bear in mind that too much finance /debt can work against the growth of a business.
Mould the 10 business leaders into a supportive peer group – thought leaders , a gentle competition etc . the purpose is to learn and develop and fine tune a process and model for the growth of other major corporations
Provide the business leader with PR support to protect against damaging social media intrusion at too early a stage.
Millenials and Generation Z now account for more than 75% of the World population. Their needs from business are different. Only moral purpose companies will exist in years to come. Looking after and understanding the needs of society are integral to any growing business. Begin with that at the core.
I am the founder of gunnercooke llp which has grown a min of 25% every year since its inception , 10 years ago , so much of my thinking has come from experience. I have also worked on over 100 buy -outs and with their CEOs’ , again adding to the experience. I am the author of To Innovate or not To Innovate , a book on the process of innovation .
Never underestimate the power of level 5 leadership. Leadership is everything. Leaders bring followers. Without followers you are just going for a walk. Leadership is a special art – focus on leadership first and innovation second.