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Guest: Don Schiavone
Bio in a Tweet: COO of Grasshopper, company just sold to Citrix, 20-year track record of helping businesses of all sizes scale their operational processes, Wharton grad, triathlete.
Quick Background: Grasshopper is a fast-growing virtual phone service for entrepreneurs. The company was just sold for a substantial amount of money. In today’s show, we explore the 6 strategies that led to Grasshopper’s rapid growth and how you can apply these strategies in your business, too.
Grasshopper’s 6 High-Growth Strategies
- Actively nurture a high-growth culture. To refine the culture, the leadership asked employees, “What do you think our culture is?” Next, the leaders asked employees to, “Give us a story that demonstrates someone in the company living that culture.” From there, they developed four cultural values that correlated to a high-growth successful company.
- Get the right people on the bus. And not only that, Don said, “Having the right team at the right time of each stage of growth is critical.” For example, the person leading the initial high-growth phase of the company may not be the person to lead the mature growth phase.
- Give the team a purpose then get out of the way. Don said, “The purpose isn’t let’s make money, let’s go public.” Rather, “It’s got to be something that’s much more tangible, something that can really empower your team to get behind and do great things.”
- Create incentives that align with the company’s purpose and reinforces its culture. For example, Grasshopper is “policy light.” They see that as an incentive for employees because it allows them to work differently, think differently, and be treated as smart adults who don’t need detailed company policies to follow.
- Relentlessly measure and test everything. As Mark Moses says, “If you can’t define it, you can’t measure it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Don and his team are constantly “firing bullets” to see what works before moving full-steam ahead.
- Hire a business coach who’s been there, done that. Don said, “To have someone that learns your business but has an outside perspective that you can bounce ideas off of, can challenge your thinking before you go and act, is invaluable.”
- Actively cultivate a high-growth company culture and align your incentives to reinforce it.
- Make sure you have the right leaders on your team for each stage of the company’s growth.
- Develop a testing mindset so you constantly try new things and “go big” with the ones that work.
Transcript: Download the full transcript here.