Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Bring on the Small Giants

"Small Giants by Bo Burlingham. How maverick companies have passed up the growth treadmill—and focused on greatness instead."

Shockingly enough, some companies are only in it for the money. They hope to grow big and profitable to be sold, rather like fattening a calf for the market. The company is the means to a financial end. Some companies purposely stay small and concentrate on maintaining their 'mojo,' the magical, somewhat ephemeral quality that often defines them : their Soul. The company an end in itself, meaningful employment for its workers or simply just being the best. The by products of great reputation and handsome profit seems to follows.

BB's suggests their are 7 tenents at the core of small but great businesses (my headings)

1. Know what you want & develop a meaningful brand positioning
"First, I could see that, unlike most entrepreneurs, their founders and leaders had recognized the full range of choices they had about the type of company they would create."

2. Going your own way means constnatly making the tougher decision "Second, the leaders had overcome the enormous pressures on successful companies to take paths they had not chosen and did not necessarily want to follow."

3. Be a living part of your community. No, really...
"Third, each company had an extraordinarily intimate relationship with the local city, town, or county in which it did business -- a relationship that went well beyond the usual concept of `giving back.'"

4. Make sure business is always personal.
"Fourth, they cultivated exceptionally intimate relationships with customers and suppliers, based on personal contact, one-on-one interaction, and mutual commitment to delivering on promises."

5. If business is personal, your workplace should reflect that.
"Fifth, the companies also had what struck me as unusually intimate workplaces."

6. There is no magic 'fits all' company structure.
"Sixth, I was impressed by the variety of corporate structures and modes of governance that these companies had come up with."

7. Real enthusiasm for what you do should fire your ambition over more practical considerations.
"Finally, I noticed the passion that the leaders brought to what the company did. They loved the subject matter, whether it be music, safety lighting, food, special effects, constant torque hinges, beer, records storage, construction, dining, or fashion."