True Small Giants companies and leaders approach business differently. And that approach includes growth and exits. In this blog, Michael Whelchel of Big Path Capital shares key pieces of wisdom to keep in mind when weighing your exit strategy options as a purpose-driven leader.
For even more insights into how to preserve your company culture and values through growth and exits, register for Michael's Small Giants Fishbowl, coming up in June! Reserve your spot:
In the past decade, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many business leaders and one of the most common challenges that they face is in how to create a culture that promotes fun and gets great results.
I often read about the newest fad in fun workplace cultures; ping-pong tables, drinks, unlimited vacation time, putting for dollars, and other fun perks. And while those perks can certainly contribute to a fun culture, they are not the answer for an engaged workforce.
Many question when it’s time to turn off the fun and turn on the results. But having fun and getting great results are not mutually exclusive practices. In my experience, both are indispensable to organizational health, and one without the other does not create a healthy culture. Having fun without getting results is just goofing off; and getting results without having fun is… well, not fun!
Here are 4 ways that we have fun and get great results at SEI.
“We cashed in our savings because we believed in our idea,” says bambu co-founder and owner Jeff Delkin. “Now, we’re a start-up within a start-up. Others have followed our lead, replicated our products. But people can’t easily replicate our passion and execution.”
Jeff Delkin and Rachel Speth, founders of bambu eco-friendly homewares, have built a company around a larger mission to reduce our reliance on plastic by providing people with natural alternatives. Jeff and Rachel are both from Portland, but their previous, corporate careers — Jeff in advertising with Ogilvy and Rachel in product development and corporate responsibility at Nike — took them throughout Asia to live in Taiwan, southern China, and Thailand. These new settings introduced them to a world of renewable, native resources. They quickly became enamored with bamboo as a material and its range of uses in daily life.
You’ve built this great purpose-driven business, have nurtured a strong culture and now for any number of reasons you’re contemplating a transaction, looking for capital or thinking of selling your business. You’re concerned. You’ve heard the horror stories of unaligned buyers and investors and what became of the business after the deal. Unfortunately, your concerns are well founded. The research suggests that more than 70% of business combinations never meet their financial expectations. Success with private equity is equally as elusive. None of this is encouraging, so how do you find a solution that works?