Towards the Definition of a Modern Business.
July 17th | 2015

It’s fairly clear that a whole new class of businesses has emerged over the past two decades.

Companies that have rapidly reshaped their categories to place previous leaders at a disadvantage or who have created entirely new categories of their own. They have employed a dizzying array of new techniques and technologies and it is often hard to separate their strategy from their execution. However, as more of these companies emerge, it has become clear that there are a consistent set of fundamentals that they all have in common. This post, then, is an attempt to classify them:

  1. Committed deeply to delivering individual, social and environmental value that is tightly aligned with the creation of economic value for its stakeholders.
  2. Built around a purpose: Enlists employees, customers and partners to help achieve the purpose.
  3. Design workplaces and cultures that instill employees with passion and autonomy: Employ flatter structures, offer more holistic, human work.
  4. Transparent, open and sharing by default. View operations and culture as a competitive advantage.
  5. Create ecosystems of shared value within their industry: Utilize platforms and networks to scale value creation and further social and economic goals for a wide range of stakeholders and partners
  6. Primarily profit through eliminating waste and breaking barriers within their industries or categories or through enabling greater value for partners and customers.
  7. Deliver real value to people and the community, build relationships with customers not transactions
  8. Make real progress against social goals and commercial goals

This is our list, based upon eight years of working with and observing modern businesses and helping other businesses become more modern. What would you add?