What does an organization look like that’s about to maximize it’s talent and explode its growth? Imagine Ray Kroc as a multi-mixer milkshake salesman, going in to talk with the McDonald brothers. What did he see in that organization that helped him know, this thing is about to take off?
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As a business consultant and investor, I’m looking at three key ingredients, that are good indicators that an organization is about to explode. These key ingredients are, purpose, expertise and partnerships. What does it mean for an organization to have purpose?
Purpose is really different than passion. The thing about passion is, passion is about you. What are you into? What are you excited about? What are you willing to suffer for? Purpose, on the other hand, is really about others. How does your organization serve society? What is your function to society? What do you accomplish through your business? An organization that has passion is great, but an organization that has purpose is better.
It’s interesting to look at the transformation of Microsoft with Bill Gates. When I used to think about Microsoft, I kinda felt like Bill Gates was kind of like the business nerd. Steve Jobs is like cool, he’s got Apple, this is cool and Bill Gates is kind of like the nerd. Now when I think about Bill Gates and I think about Microsoft, I think about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and all of the amazing work that’s being accomplished in Africa and fighting Aids and Malaria and the good that they’re doing. An organization that has purpose creates excitement and buzz in society.
In addition to purpose is expertise. We live in a ridiculously competitive society, particularly in the marketplace. It’s not good enough to be good, you have to be great in order to really thrive and grow.
There are a lot of forms of expertise at an organization. You might have an expert team or you might have expert technology. One of the key ingredients for expertise that I look for in an organization is, does that organization have an expertise in systems? It’s important for organizations to have their best team members take what they do intuitively or through the experience that they have and systemize that expertise. How do you extract that intuition of an employee into a system that other people can use?
The third indicator that an organization is ready to scale is partnerships. Who does your organization partner with? When I was in the litigation industry it was very difficult, almost impossible, to set up a meeting with a partner at a large law firm because they didn’t want to associate with someone who was a nobody. Eventually, I was able to set up some meetings and sell a technology to these law firms. Well, one of the firms that I was working with used the technology on a 60 million dollar lawsuit and they won! Now, instead of saying I wanna give a presentation at your firm about how to use legal technology, I was saying, I want to show you what this firmed used, that won this 60 million dollar lawsuit and we’ve been happy to serve them as a client. Well the doors were open.
There’s a proverb that says, whoever walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm. When you see a business leader who surrounds themselves with other great business leaders, it’s a great indicator that that organization is going to grow.
If your organization has the purpose, you are a true expert in the field and you have great partnerships, these are really good indicators that your organization is going to grow and you’re going to maximize the potential of your organization. They’re also great indicators if you’re an investor and your looking to buy into a good business.
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