Characteristics of extraordinary businesses

News: June 2012

Characteristics of extraordinary businesses

Most business people consider the likes of Google, Apple and BMW to be extraordinary businesses. They are renowned for being great places to work and empower their staff to a level which drives innovation and helps bring the business forward. However, you don’t have to be a multinational firm to be an extraordinary business. Here are a few key characteristics of such businesses which you can adopt:

Technology Offers Empowerment

Extraordinary businesses see technology as a way to free-up time to human beings so they can be creative and build better relationships. These businesses adapt their back-office systems to the tools (such as smartphones and tablets) that people actually want to use.

Business is not a battlefield

Extraordinary businesses see commerce as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. For example, 3M encourages innovation from its workforce and applauds ideas that fail (because employees weren’t afraid to try!). They consistently bring innovative new products to market as a result.

A company is a community

A business is not a machine with employees as cogs. Extraordinary businesses see themselves as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. Successful companies inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community and company as a whole. For example, Google has a reputation for building communities in its offices by providing recreational facilities for staff to use. The result is that the teams socialise together and form a community within the business – which encourages collaboration and, ultimately, new and better services for Google’s customers.

Motivation through vision

Extraordinary businesses inspire their staff to see a better future and imagine how they’ll be a part of it. As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organisation’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing and know they’ll share in the rewards. An example of this is Apple – the vision of Steve Jobs, Jonny Ive etc motivated the teams in Apple to develop market defining new products such as the iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc.