Scaling Up Lessons From the Gazelles and Elephants of Business

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Mike Maddock on Scaling Up Business Podcast

Are you working to grow your business? What can you learn from the biggest companies out there?
We define fast-moving companies as gazelles and we depict the big, larger, companies as elephants. This week’s guest, Mike Maddock, works with both types of companies and he shares with us lessons to be learned from both.

Mike Maddock is a serial entrepreneur, author, and keynote speaker. Currently, Mike is the Founder Partner of Maddock Douglas, an innovation consulting firm that has helped more than 25% of the Fortune 100 companies. He has personally launched five successful businesses, written three books, and is a columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes.

Mike worked throughout his teen years and attentively identified what makes good bosses and bad bosses. A year-and-a-half after graduating high school, he started his own marketing communications company and grew the business to 50 people.

He had a ‘Jerry Maguire’ moment and shifted his focus to innovation; he started a new company and made $3.5 million in revenue within a couple of years. Since then, he’s learned a lot about research, consumer behavior, and fear.

Whenever you’re changing anything, people freak out and they go to what makes them feel strong, which is often the worst thing you can do when the world is changing around you. Fear makes people go ‘back to the basics.’ At the end of the day, it’s a balancing act between the creative/innovation types and the analytical types in an organization. When you can get the right balance of both, these companies survive and thrive in new environments.

Mike shares an example of a meeting gone wrong, at least it appeared to be. He was presenting research to dentists about an emerging marketing, teeth whitening, and they ripped into him. He and his team predicted teeth whitening would be a $4 billion opportunity, today it is an $11 billion market. The dentists that ripped into him were experts in their market. However, the more you’re an expert in something, the harder it is to see growth, opportunity, and possibility.


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Scaling Up is the best-selling book, by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail.My name is Bill Gallagher, host of the Scaling Up Business podcast and a leading business coach with a Gazelles. We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).

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