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Matt Kingdon’s Six Ways Big Firms Stay Young

5th September 2013

Conference facilitator and entrepreneur, Matt Kingdon believes that there are six ways for businesses to stay young and successful.

Matt states that as a business grows older, it becomes harder for them to stay as exciting and innovative as when they first started out. However he believes it is about translating desire into action and here are his six ways to keep the more mature companies young:

  1. Find a cause worth fighting for-Matt believes it is vital for a company that has become successful and solidified itself to have a cause to fight for. For example Unilever are pushing sustainability and installing this agenda among all colleagues, making it an important aspect of the company. This gives people within the company more of a drive and they have something else to focus on in addition to their day job.
  2. Create a generation of radical thinkers-It is important to have people working in a company who can think outside of the box and have the ability to set themselves apart from the rest of the company. These are the people who will be able to think up new and innovative ideas that will benefit and modernise a firm.
  3. Encourage a slap in the face- Matt thinks that companies must encourage their staff to leave the safety of their desks in order to build better relationships with clients. He uses Barclays as an example of this; Barclays push their staff to discover what makes their customers tick and encourage their senior executives to live in their customer’s world.
  4. ‘Collaboration’ not ‘teamwork’-Mark states that “Too often, teamwork looks like polite people making minimal progress, whereas collaboration is an altogether more robust concept that doesn't tolerate mediocrity. It drives step change.”
  5. Plastic surgery for the office-Successful companies such as Barclays, British Gas and WL Gore have all converted their offices so that they are more modern, sociable and create a friendly environment that their staff can enjoy working in.
  6. Stay visible-Mark points out the importance of staying visible as a boss, he says that “Seeing your boss ‘mucking in’, taking an interest in the product and trying new things is, arguably, the greatest way to inject a youthful energy into any organisation.”
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