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Re-igniting the founder’s mentality

Why is profitable growth so hard to achieve? And why is it so hard to sustain the growth curve? Most companies are run with a focus on the external environment: find a market to grow, create the strategy to approach it and then grow your customer base in this market segment. 

Researchers from Bain have found that in 90 percent of these cases, growth issues are not really external, but they are mostly internal! And that requires a huge shift in the focus on how to address this challenge. People in companies over the years often are getting more and more removed from the front line. There’s a loss of accountability. And to make things worse, there’s increasing bureaucracy. More silo’s and complex matrixes.

The good news is that these growth issues are often predictable. But if they are not addressed properly, they can lead to a huge crisis and ultimately to the decline of the company. 

The key take away from Bain’s research is to bring back some of the behaviors that are usually embodied by the original founder(s) of the company. Oftentimes, these people had a bold and ambitious mission that brought them their first successes.

Bringing back their approaches into the business helps to dramatically revitalize the company.

  1. A very clear mission and purpose.
  2. An unambiguous owner’s mindset.
  3. An obsession with the front line.

Often, resetting the company and zero-basing budgets can help. With zero-based budgets the leadership team is able to use available resources where they are most needed.

The book that the researchers wrote about this is called: The Founder’s Mentality from Chris Zook and James Allen. It can be found online or offline.

Hope this inspires.

Paul Donkers

We’ve pre-selected a series of other relevant and up-to-date books to help you run your business, build your team and to develop yourself (don’t forget!). Find them via our literature page here.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. Hope you enjoy.


Ps. Oh, and it’s not always a good idea to bring back the founder to restart the company. The real mission is to groom a competent leadership team. A team that is able to sustain the founder’s mentality.


By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

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