Many companies are successful. Many companies are extremely profitable. Many companies become national brands. Some companies expand across the globe. And then there are those companies that are in a league of their own—the game-changing companies.
They don’t follow the rules; they break them and change them. Iconoclastic companies such as Apple, Amazon, Starbucks and Virgin. Companies that developed and created products and services that had never been done before. What can we learn from such game-changing companies?
These companies don’t just happen. They derive from the passion, the drive, the determination and the inspirational leadership of the company founder. Obviously, in the examples I have quoted, that means Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Howard Schultz and Richard Branson. One driven leader can create a corporate culture that settles for nothing but excellence and is constantly breaking new ground.
Remember that saying: When the going gets tough, the tough get going? Game-changing go-getters who run game-changing companies often get knocked down, and even ridiculed, or scorned. But they learn from their experiences and have the resilience to bounce back and take their businesses to strata of achievement no-one thought was possible. The corporate leader showed their true mettle and never compromised.
Game-changing companies are disruptive. They create products or services that sometimes make their forerunners redundant or, at minimum, less desirable. Look what the arrival of Netflix did to Blockbuster. Look what Amazon did to national bookstores like B. Dalton. You have to disrupt the game.
Building it Big
You can only be a transformational company if what you do is scalable. Not only do you need to make your great idea a reality, you also need to be sure that it is something for which there is such a huge need that you can build it into a massive global business. As I said in a previous post…thinking big is the only way to go. You have to think anyway, so why think small?
Pride and Purpose
At game-changing companies there’s great pride, that permeates from the top, in being the best and the greatest. There’s a crystal-clear clarity of purpose. All of the members of the team, at every level of the organization, feel that they are part of something special; that they are making a positive contribution to a superior experience for their customers. They know and appreciate that peak performance is the path to staying ahead of the competition.
Game-changing companies source the best talent. They have a rock star executive team, which, in turn, recruits other outstanding, star performers. They also provide an environment which keeps that talent on board. They foster that all-important collective sense of purpose and empower their team to grow in an exciting “can-do” atmosphere.
Companies that make a difference, companies that count, are also companies that keep their promises. They deliver what they say they’re going to deliver. They build a solid reputation. Their customers believe in them and trust them because the corporate leadership listens to what their customers say and constantly deliver quality.
Game-changing companies generate enthusiasm within their organizations and also among their customer base. There is an authentic rapport. It’s more than a product. It’s more than a service. It’s much more than a business relationship. It’s a real connection. There is spirit. There is energy. They stand apart from the mundane.
Companies that are revolutionary know how to get their message across. At the end of the day you could have the best product or service in the world but there’s no point if people don’t know about it. Effective communication within the organization itself so that everybody is on the same page and communication to the world at large are essential. If your company is great and a game-changer—shout it from the rooftops!
Final note. If you are fortunate enough to become a game-changer, please bear this in mind: The game is always changing. There’s always competition knocking on your door. So be prepared to change the game again—before someone else does.