What Does Success Look Like?

We’re frequently asked if there are any recurring characteristics that act as a ‘lightning conductor’ to revealing a company’s likely success. Well, we’ve thought about it and come up with the following list. Note they apply to companies that have been successful over the long not short term, and are in no particular order:


An Effective Purpose Framework
They have a clear vision, articulated and demonstrable values and a set of strategic objectives that inform all tactical operating plans. Relatively high engagement levels around the purpose.

A Leadership Driven Sense Of Urgency
This is a high-energy, can do environment, with an impatience about the present and a hunger to make the future happen. Fools are not suffered gladly and achievement is widely recognised.

A Strong, Forthright, Value Adding Senior Management Team
The team is driven by the corporate values, not by dominant personalities. They are effective behavioural role models and vision champions.

A Compelling Value Proposition
Whatever is being sold has the potential for real growth over at least the mid-term. The offer stands out from the crowd.

A Strong Balance Sheet
A respecter of cash and the building of meaningful asset value; they pay the same attention to the BS as they do the P&L


A Profit Not Sales Focus
The old saw ‘profit is sanity turnover is vanity’ could have been written for these organisations.
Smart, Dedicated PeopleThe quality of the people is patent. Strong succession planning, people development and capability building are all core activities. Real strength in depth.

A Dynamic And Growing Customer Base
They are working with the right customers, ones that push them and are prepared to partner with them, finding new ways of working together and finding new solutions to intractable problems.

A Focus On Excellence
They are constantly seeking to improve through both incremental and transformational innovation. Also, very receptive to change.

How does your organisation measure up?