Pierre-Antoine Dresco: Micro-battles

As companies grow larger, they encounter what is called the growth paradox: expansion creates complexity that prevents sustainable growth. Pierre-Antoine Dresco, a partner with Bain's Strategy practice, outlines how a company needs to regain its Founder's Mentality® with micro-battles to transform its behavior and become a scale insurgent.

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Read the transcript below.

PIERRE-ANTOINE DRESCO: What we have seen at Bain is that most of the companies do face what we call the "growth paradox." So, as they expand into new businesses, new categories, and new products, the complexity's actually growing within the organization. And that complexity actually prevents those companies from growing further sustainably over a long period of time.

What those companies need to be doing is actually to come back to their Founder's Mentality, which is basically three key dimensions. Dimension number one is to have a sense of mission and a sense of insurgency that they had when they were tiny. Dimension number two is to really keep the focus on the front line and really understand what are the key insights that deliver great solutions for consumers and customers. And dimension number three is actually to keep the owner mindset. And the best way for those companies to rejuvenate their organization with this Founder's Mentality is to do micro-battles.

Let me explain what the micro-battles are about. They are about cutting the complexity of a multimonth delivery program into some very short four-week cycles, where you have a multifunctional team that is tasked to deliver prototypes to win with consumers. And those prototypes, once proven successful, are actually scaled to the rest of the organization.

And that requires a completely new way of working within the organization. So the leadership team is in the process of transforming the behaviors that they have, in terms of the way they manage those teams. And the teams also have completely different ways of working through those micro-battles.

As you have one, three, six, nine micro-battles within the organization, you are slowly and gradually shifting the ways of working within the organization. You are changing the culture, as well. And you are moving from an incumbent position to actually a scale insurgent, right, where the company, at the end of the day, has a much stronger sense of purpose, has ways of working that are much more agile than they have today, and they have a greater focus for the consumers and for delivering results in a fast way.

And that's the power of the micro-battles. It's really about recreating the Founder's Mentality in large corporations, in the way that is transforming the behaviors of the entire organization.

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