Guest Post – Creating a natural sustainable growth engine

Creating a natural sustainable growth engine is like creating & nurturing an ecosystem.

Thank you to Charles Smee, Transaction Focus, for this guest post.

The natural progressive biodiverse environment required for longevity – a ‘natural sustainable business growth’ land – is a far cry from the ‘force feed’ shareholder and VC driven culture.

More holistic, organic, less GM perhaps ? Certainly more collaborative, symbiotic, mutually beneficial and interdependent.

A natural, lush expanse of grassland where many types of grasses, flora and fauna can co-thrive.
More communally and culturally diverse, non-judgemental, mutually inclusive – no enforced short term commercial goals that benefit few. More collaborative, co-operative honesty sessions that are naturally aligned with the carefully defined, long term corporate and product brand goals.

Less prejudice; mutually beneficial guidelines rather than controlling forces; less fear of failure; no establishment spraying pesticide or insecticide to protect or safeguard the food chain of any one species.

Cleverly disguised aggressive, self-interested greed and ‘benefit society’ idleness are diligently and mercilessly weeded out. It is so much more commercially ‘fit’ and ROI focused than the ‘force feed’ model.

Ideally, a strong, visionary culture with a no-nonsense matriarch or patriarch, who presides and empowers the trusted circle, is needed. Traditional family or founder focused companies that have strong governance can continue growing for centuries. Cheap ‘sell outs’ or ‘buy outs’ that benefit the few need to be scythed or mown down. Even the greenest, purest and most holy and holistic (e.g. Body Shop and Innocent Drinks) have arguably sold their souls to the less virtuous multi-national enterprise (MNE) shareholder kingdom.

The spacious company garden needs to be alive, harmonious, adventurous, with fresh, fast flowing revenue streams and abundant with experimental net contributing vegetation from other lands or planets.

This model garden can also have quiet idyllic zen corners for mindful reflection or meditation, where tribe members can re-resource, find their inner peace or just relax and think.

Forever green and forever expansive and outreaching

Eco-systems that do not reach out for global or extra-terrestrial inspiration may not be prepared for an all consuming alien invading species. Fertile, ambitious, global companies can more readily spot, pre-empt and combat the alien challenge if they are operational in the alien’s native market and have meaningful overseas strategy partners.

Fast thriving communities may also embrace and mould AI and other technological elements in pursuit of continuous improvement.

After all, most inventions are copied or originally inspired or sourced from the plant or animal kingdom. Progress is a kind of virtuous, virtual evolutionary circle.

Green organisation focused group governance

Big decisions are frequently pre-scrutinised and soft tested by the inner and outer tribe. Tribe members must be devoted, talented, resilient, restless, confident and outward-looking. Selection and promotion is rigorously scrutinised and overseen by the inner trusted circle.

The inner and outer tribe take responsibility for grooming the younger generation to subscribe to the corporate mantra, so that their role functions progressively better. A fertile, fun, spontaneous spirit of closed loop continuous improvement is critical for embracing growth ambitions. Personal, bespoke physical and mental, biologically attuned, fitness programmes can help enable individual tribe members to realise their own natural ambitions. If they flourish, the tribe also flourishes.

Lead hunters need to be naturally super fit in mind, body and spirit in order to provide abundantly for the tribe. Like athletes, they also need rest and recharge sessions.

Built up, so-called sophisticated, modern society management sometimes do not equip their sales food providers with the right tools and increasingly opt to reward them on a results or commission only basis, preferring to reserve the fat cat privileges for themselves and their financial beneficiaries. Such organisations frequently fail to generate natural sustainable growth and lack longevity, as the best hunters are not rewarded sufficiently and migrate to new pastures.

Species that survive in the jungle do not carry passengers – a little too Malthusian and uncomfortable for many. Every member needs to be a progressive, positive net contributing force and may also be aligned or associated with other tribes in strange green pastures, so that new breeds of fertile ideas are spawned from afar.

Tribe elders need to co-exist, compromise and trade as harmoniously as possible with neighbouring or competing tribe leaders. All tribe members have to follow suit and back awkward decisions that need to be taken quickly by the matriarch or patriarch.

Personal Enlightenment

The company as a whole is stronger if tribe members fulfil their global, holistic life dreams. Google-style one day off a week for personal career projects, reinvigorates the mind and soul and generates renewed team energy.

Flexible, re-resourcing, refreshing vacation time reaps rewards. Themed ‘on project’ team day outs invariably foster fertile creativity and symbiotic teamwork.

Why not incentivise the best performing sales persons with fitness and ‘recharge’ sessions on natural islands with 1200 herbs and fragrances? Like athletes, they also need to sharpen the senses and be pampered.  Fit, highly empathetic sales and marketing people are more in tune with their customer needs and deliver more consistently.

Exotic, aromatic, dynamic flora and fauna types need to flourish in their own natural way and to have room to express themselves. Wild, wondrous, eccentric ideas should always be celebrated.

Millennials now aspire to and expect this. They need to be encouraged to travel like our busy bee Victorian ancestors, who came home with creative ideas and populated British landscapes such as Kew, Trentham Gardens and Westonbirt  Arboretum with foreign species.

Young bees still need natural light touch guidance from other tribe members. As a general rule, elite performers, like elite athletes, know what they need and where to find the sharpest tools and inspiration.

Natural Sustainable Global Growth

Once the optimal, natural company eco-system is aligned with the company’s DNA and raison d’etre, and the natural growth parameters are in place, profitable, sustainable revenue growth can take place rapidly and more vigorously.

Meticulous planning and preparation is always needed. Seasonal planting and harvesting patterns and crop rotation need to be optimised. Farmer and hunter types need to be financially proficient and rely less on conservative ‘FD’ types with minimal on the ground exposure.

Radical re-landscaping is sometimes required.

However, an ambitious mind set, return on investment focus, pre-set success metrics (which always need to be tracked), and visionary brand integrity should never be compromised.


Transaction FocusCharles Smee is a seasoned international business growth specialist and natural, sustainable growth specialist. He has grown businesses from scratch and held senior management roles in Western & Eastern Europe and APAC with Bates Asia, Rothmans, Saatchi & Saatchi, Tait Asia and WPP.

Charles founded Transaction Focus in 2004 and has delivered continuous ROI sales & marketing programmes for ABC, EUGBA, IBM, Kimberly-Clark and PwC and for many fast growth SMEs.

He is a Top 50 Enterprise Nation Business Advisor, who is also a Business Growth Service (Growth Accelerator), SFEDI, IBD and IOEE accredited business mentor and advisor.

To contact Charles, click here.


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Author Peter Quintana