Creating a culture of growth begins with understanding the terrain of what makes that growth possible.
The “Top One Percenters“ is a collection of companies that over the past decades through their continuous growth in every conceivable market and industry, even those considered moribund, have shown that “all growth is not created equal“1in the words of Dr. Gary Kunkle, economist and research fellow at the Institute for Exceptional Growth Companies.
The stickiest form of growth will likely lead to more growth of an organization in the future, one that is regular, frequent, and incremental, almost independent of the market conditions.
How is that possible?
Because frequency of growth is a reflection of an organization’s knowledge and skills on how to grow again and again, as well as the synchronized rhythm to execute such skills consistently. Hence, growth, the outcome, is dependent on growth, the skill, and the practice.
Since culture exists at the intersection of a way of thinking, a way of being, and a way of doing, then a culture of growth represents the activities, environment, and attitude that occur at the intersecting space.
The culture by default is made of individuals and their interactions, where the intersecting space we know as culture really reflects the habits, “internalized principles and patterns of behaviors”2 that individually and collectively we exhibit and practice regularly, frequently, and automatically.
The late Dr. Covey educated us that effective habits are another “intersection of Knowledge, Skill, and Desire. Knowledge is the paradigm of what to do and why to do it. Skill is the how to do it. And desire is the motivation, the want to do it. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.”
Can the simplest form to create a culture of growth, boil down to the work of purposefully creating individual and organizational habits to grow frequently? Could that frequency, in turn, create a sustainable environment for more growth?
How do we build a culture similar to the organizations in the 1% list that continue to grow in the best and toughest market conditions?
Taking a page from other domains, we can adopt one motto: If it is hard, do it often.
The next few posts will examine ideas to nurture a culture of growth and habits to realize its potential.