Growth Hacking in work culture and in the creation of a virtuous work environment.

To talk about Growth Hacking alongside the creation of work culture and the values to bring into business could seem out of place. A bit because it’s considered a technique relative to income growth and it’s not often associated with principles such as team building, the choice of collaborators, the construction of a work environment and, more generally, the human factor in a business.

With this in mind, I would like to bring up a scientific fact able to show how much the attention to these factors has an effective impact on the growth of company value. Personally, when I have meetings in BaasBox and when I find myself speaking in public, I always say that a company is a collection of people and even if economics is a discipline in which numbers are used a lot the truth is that it is a social science.

Psychology has much more of an impact on business than mathematics.

Numbers are just the final output of choices based on society and values that the entrepreneur, the CEO or the founder makes daily.

Starting from the beginning we need to understand what effectively is the role of the CEO in a company ( or the founder in a startup) and the mindset that they need to have in their approach to their daily work. The three pillars are:

  • Solve problems: a good CEO/founder is obliged by definition to be a problem solver. The problems can be of varying nature and for this reason it’s not said that he has to be an expert in everything but the main characteristic that he must have is the ability to do the right thing at the right time. A real leader is he who sets an example and doesn’t hold back in difficult situations.
  • Know how to listen: this is a direct consequence of the previous point but it’s not automatic that a CEO naturally has this characteristic. In this case he can organize weekly meetings in which he can listen to his team and ask them to explain any perceived problems and the possible opportunities put forward by others.
  • Be a fan of those who use the company’s product/service: one of the things that your team perceives is the passion that you put in. A founder and or CEO of a company should be the first client of the product/service that his company offers. He should know all the positive and negative sides and should involve himself to the point that he can give specific feedback to his team.

Are these qualities enough to create a virtuous environment inside a team? The answer is no. They also need to choose shared values and, above all, take daily care to align the whole team to these values.

Here’s another definition of CEO that I like: “values coach”. Values are the common foundations on which a company rests. There is the need to flip the paradigm in this sense:

why, before thinking of the product/service don’t we think of the values with which we want to construct that solution?

With what principles do we want to create our first community of people that give life to the business?

First we need to find the values, communicate them to team and they will bring them into the products/services. A typical example of this principle is that of the founders of AirBnB who interviewed tens of candidates over a period five months to then take on only two. They were the first employees and, to be sure of choosing the right people, the two founders decided to draw up a list of values to be used in the company for every candidate who presented themselves. Those who were not in line with the founders’ values were rejected on principle before their technical capabilities were even known. STOP! For them, the selection process ended there.

How much impact do these principles have on the economic value of a company? Luckily, Fortune gave us the answer with their classification of the top 100 companies that everybody would like to work at: “Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For”.

These companies are very attentive to the principles cited above and Forbes even made a comparison between the average market value of the “regular companies” and these “top 100 companies”, this is the result:

Do you understand?

The top companies that create a virtuous and motivating work environment have a return on economic value 3 times higher than those of the average market index.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which is a fantastic synthesis of what I want to transfer to you in this piece:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
your thoughts become your words,
your words become your actions,
your actions become your habits,
your habits become your values,
your values become your destiny.”