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CREATING TH E COM PANY OF THE F UTURE
THER E’S BEEN A RE VOLUTION. HAV E YO U FE LT IT? The way companies are structured is changing. It’s not just about managers managing managers. It’s about a completely new way of working, with happiness at the heart of what you do. And at IU, we’re striving to be at the front of this revolution. 2
WHAT MAKES US Q UALI FIED TO TALK AB OUT IT? We have worked for traditional companies before. 10 years in agencies, 3 years in a company where there was backstabbing, not a single thank you and not a penny rolled down from management, outside of salaries, when the company we helped build sold for £500m. It was pretty depressing stuff. So we’ve spent the last few years trying to change it. 3
THERE IS ANOT HE R WAY TO RUN A COM PAN Y. A ND IT’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING AT IU FOR A LMOST A DECADE.
WE’VE B EEN BEAVE RING AWAY AT WHAT THE COMPANY OF THE FUTURE MIGHT LOOK LIKE We’ve been driven by an almost spiritual belief that something in the current model of business and the connection between individuals and companies is broken. That there simply must be a better way. 5
Recently, we’ve seen that new ways of working are now the focus of hushed conversations at water coolers and the topic of best-sellers. Buffer blogged about radical transparency, igniting a conversation which has put a fire beneath many companies. With this increase in interest, it seems like the right time to put down some IU thoughts and learnings. 6
WHY DO WE BE LI EVE T HE SYSTEM IS BROKEN ?
THE NORM I S OUTDATED The generally accepted ways of working were set down, out of necessity, during the Industrial Revolution. Job titles, working hours, contracts, management systems. All were created during a completely different time. Two centuries later, this is, understandably, out of date. 8
TH E W ORL D IS CHANGING FASTER THAN EVER We’re now in the middle of a revolution led by massive leap in technology. This is changing everything we understand about ways of working and structure, which doesn’t lend itself to the ground works set down previously. Technology is being re-invented and adopted faster than ever, so it’s time to react to that in the way we do business and run our business. 9
HOW ARE WE ADAPTING TO TH IS SHIFT AT IU ?
WE PLACE HA PPI N ESS AT TH E HE ART OF EVE RY TH ING WE DO 11
WE B ELIEVE HAPP I NESS IS WHAT LIF E IS ABOUT We’re convinced that there is no such thing as work / life balance, so an individual’s happiness at work is vital. You spend an enormous amount of time at work (if you’re lucky) and life is short, so the idea that you would willingly allocate much of your precious time doing something you actively dislike is anathema to us. We’d rather find the things that we like doing, that we’re good at and which can earn us the money we want and then spend a sensible amount of our time on these. 12
OUR COLLEC TI VE PURPO SE IS TO MAKE REVO LUTI ONS H APPEN 13
THIS IS TR U E O F EVE RYTHING WE DO This is true of our products, where we help other organisations to generate disruptive growth, and through our relentless search to deﬁne what the company of the future looks like when happiness is placed at its heart. And, because purpose is such a big driver of happiness, we recruit for people who are motivated by this collective purpose. 14
WE RUN A VERY DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODEL 15
WE HAVE NO JOB TITLES OR FIXED HIERARCHY WE VALUE AND ACTIVELY SEEK WELL-STACKED PEOPLE WE CONSTANTLY PIVOT, ADAPT AND CHANGE OVER TIME WE INVEST OUR PROFITS IN VENTURES WHICH LET US TRY NEW THINGS WE FOREGO WORK WHICH WE FEEL WON’T MAKE US HAPPY WHAT WE ‘MAKE AND SELL’ CHANGES WITH THE WORLD’S NEEDS (EVEN IF THEY’LL MAKE US A LOT OF MONEY) 16
WE PRACTIC E COLLECT IVE OWN ERSHI P 17
OWNERS S IM PLY CARE MOR E We believe that as an owner, you have genuine purpose and you will always know why we are doing something. You have the ability to influence how IU does stuff and therefore the collective pleasure we derive from being at IU. Unlike an employee, an owner is able to reap the beneﬁts of long-term IU success in full proportion to their overall contribution to that success. 18
IN THE E ND, WE BELIEVE THAT A MOD EL OF COLLECTIVE OWNERSHIP IS MOR E LI KELY TO LEAD TO HAPPINESS TH AN THE MORE TRADITIONAL MO DEL OF ‘FEW OWNE RS-M ANY EMPLOYEES’.
WE B ELI EVE THAT A HAPPINESS-FIRST APPROACH IS TH E FU TU RE OF BUSINESS We’re striving to build a company full of owners who are passionately “all in” and are reimagining what is truly valuable for both the company and the individuals - alongside money. We’re doing away with ways of working which were created two centuries ago to ensure that there’s a win-win for both company and individual in how value is created and shared.
ASK YOUR SELF - WOULD THIS WORK AT YOUR ORGAN ISATION ? IF NOT, WH AT WOULD W OR K TO DRIVE MORE HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS FOR YOU? 21
FURTHER RE ADING Creating the Company of the Future, Pt. 1: https://medium.com/independentsunited/creating-the-company-of-the-future-ded4b820556c Creating the Company of the Future, Pt. 2: https://medium.com/independentsunited/companies-of-happy-owners-1fea382c8e0 The Entrepreneurial Way: https://medium.com/independents-united 22
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