Fast Company Innovation Festival 2015 - Growth Matters

At this week’s Fast Company Innovation Festival, we’ve been finding ourselves everywhere from SoulCycle to Uber’s offices to the Jim Henson Creature Workshop in pursuit of innovative thinking, inspiration, knowledge and energy.

Everyone is buzzing with ideas and learning loads. What we’re seeing is that, in and amongst the extraordinary creativity and innovation being inspired here, the desire for growth is also evident. Growth matters. It brings about opportunities both for those within the company as well as for people outside them.

All of this backs-up the Brand Learning Growth Drivers study that was launched this week in London and New York and has, at the heart of it, The Growth Code and the 7C hallmarks of growth-ready organizations and leaders.

In fact, we’re hearing vivid articulations of aspects of the growth code everywhere we turn:


“The notion that someone would spend a discretionary dollar in any way that isn’t delightful is absurd to me.” – Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO of Birchbox, speaking about her company’s single-minded focus on thrilling the consumer. 

Conscious Speed

“We are engaging with our users almost every day in almost every way, as opposed to the old way - build something, talk to consumers for two hours, spend $100M, roll it out, apologize and then spend $2B fixing it.” – Sallie Krawcheck, owner of Ellevate, on embracing a new & speedy way of working.

Cultivating Talent

Every week, Angela Ahrendts, SVP of Retail and Online Stores at Apple, makes a 3-minute iPhone video with “no hair, no makeup” - increasing her connection with Apple’s retail talent (all 60k of them) by letting them know what’s on her mind – “the goal is not that they just hear you, but they have to feel you.”


Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of Business Innovations and CMO of GE, embraces collaborative tension – “Innovation is about tension. As a leader it takes a lot of time to bring the best out of people in that setting – your role is to bring that tension to some kind of conclusion.”


“Every single person at my company has to memorize not only the mission, but how we get there.” – Tristan Walker, founder and CEO, on the commitment built into the culture at Walker & Company Brands.


“Every rule is about to be rewritten because it’s not going to be clear where your company stops and another begins. We’re moving to a world where companies begin to realize there will always be more smart people outside our company than inside our company. You’ll 10x the opportunity if you open it up.” – Aaron Levie, CEO/Cofounder/Chairman of Box, on the curious, open approach that big companies must adopt.


Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23and me, discussed the courage required to pursue new directions - “There’s something beautiful about ignoring all realistic constraints. If you think about the world of possibilities just within the existing infrastructure, you’re massively limiting yourself.”

These themes, coined as the 7Cs, are at the heart of our Growth Drivers Study.

To find out more about this global study or how Brand Learning can help improve the growth capabilities of your organisation head to our Growth Drivers webpage or contact the Brand Learning Growth Drivers team.

Brand Learning: Lifting capabilities to drive customer-centred growth
We work with companies across the world to lift the performance of their teams to drive growth by delivering better value for their customers.