4 min
May 2, 2023

What does it take to build and sustain a great company?

Written by
Robert Cornish
4 min
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What does it take to build and sustain a great company?

I'm reading Winning on Purpose by Fred Reichheld who has had a long track record working at Bain, one of the leading management consulting companies in the world. Fred created what's now known as the Net Prompter Score or NPS and talks about the theory and application throughout the book.

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While there are many many use cases and successes, I couldn’t help to think about one specific use case in recent news, First Republic Bank.

Yesterday, First Republic Bank was seized by the US government and sold to JPMorgan. Crazy.

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Fred praises First Republic for a high NPS score and a long track record of excellent customer experience. Over and over again I’ve been reminded that it’s not one thing, it’s a multitude of things that make a company great. Compounded things.

I agree that NPS is a valuable metric but it's not everything. You can build the greatest customer-first company and still fail. So while key, it takes a lot more. And I'm sure First Republic did many many things right in the last 38 years but a few wrong things can make all the difference.

At this stage, I've read hundreds of business books and if I think about patterns to greatness, it's compounded actions.

It's using stats and OKRs to manage targets and outcomes

It's using NPS to ensure the company is customer first and measuring it in a simple way.

It's hiring great people, putting them in the right seats on the bus, and building great culture and values that help those people thrive which trickles to a superior customer experience

It's having the vision, values, organization targets, and objectives defined and intentionally aligned throughout the entire org.

It takes a team and it takes all the parts.

  • Incredible Products / Services
  • World-class customer experience and service
  • Great people
  • Elite leadership
  • Good culture
  • Clear vision and direction
  • Strong brand and awareness
  • Marketing to drive new business consistently
  • Sales to close that business and take care of customers
  • Finance to run air-tight ops
  • Delivering or production to ensure what you sold is delivered in the best possible way
  • Quality control to ensure the highest standards are met
  • Customer success to ensure the customer is truly happy and winning
  • PR to make your work known broadly

It's never one thing. Every division and department must work as the best version of themselves and align with each other and the overall purpose, vision, and mission of the org.

You're kidding yourself if you think one thing will handle it. It won't and we've seen some of the biggest and best companies go down in flames. No one is too big to fail.

Never settle. The pursuit of greatness is a daily mission. And the second you start to get distracted or focus on money or one new fad... is the second the wheels start to fall off.

It takes a very competent team committed to the overall mission to make a truly great company. And it requires compounded actions that result in greatness.

— Robert

About Robert Cornish: Robert Cornish founded Richter in early 2008 to build an agency focused on communication strategies that support sales growth for business-to-business technology-related companies. Bootstrapped with zero capital in the middle of the financial meltdown, Richter went on to make the Inc 5000 list comprised of the fastest-growing companies in America five times. Richter made the Silicon Valley Fast 50 four times and the Entrepreneur360 award two times. Robert has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Selling Power Magazine, Inc Magazine and IDEA magazine. He's been a guest speaker for ACG Los Angeles, IASA Summit, West Point and been interviewed for 33Voices, EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast and IDEA Magazine by Northwood University. In 2012 Wiley & Sons published his book, What Works, about the lessons he's learned while growing his agency from start-up navigating his way to a multi-million dollar agency. Robert currently owns five companies.

Get What Works on Audible here >>> https://adbl.co/2BvqS4I

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