Bain & Company’s Study On Sustainable Growth – Strategy With RS

Do you want to know the secret of ensuring sustainable growth?

For that I will have to share with you the findings of a study done by Bain & Company, aimed at identifying the key internal factors of sustainable growth for companies.


bain and co.


‘They have observed that despite their many differences, most companies that achieve sustainable growth share a common set of motivating attitudes and behaviours that often can be traced back to a bold, ambitious founder. Such companies consider themselves insurgents, waging war on their industry on behalf of an underserved customer.’

Together, these attitudes and behaviours constitute a frame of mind that is one of the greatest and most undervalued secrets of business success.

Bain & Company call it the Founder’s Mentality®, and three traits are

^ Insurgent mission,
^ Front-line obsession
^ Owner’s mindset
—are at its centre.

These companies possess a clear sense of mission and focus that everyone in the company can understand and relate to the companies have the special ability to foster deep feelings of personal responsibility in employees (in contrast with the average company where a recent Gallup survey shows that only 13% of employees say that they are emotionally engaged). The companies are obsessed with the details of the business and celebrate employees at the front line, who deal directly with customers.

As these groups—and new ones to come—look ahead, it is important that they imbibe the learnings of the Founder’s Mentality if they wish to thrive. This might mean rediscovering the core insurgent mission of the company. Or the voices of customers and the front line must be heard amid a din of competing statements—most often opinions coming from the centres of authority within a group. Or these groups might consider bringing back the idea of “thinking and acting like an owner”, which has been ground down by complexity. Perhaps the answer is all of the above!

Continued success is a function of this mentality: a collection of specific behaviours and attitudes, best exemplified by the traits of great founders, that if properly cultivated leads more reliably to sustainable growth. Whether a company is decades removed from the era of its founding doesn’t matter. Rather, just about every company, at any stage in its existence, can benefit from the attitudes and behaviours that make up the Founder’s Mentality.

Young companies need to build the Founder’s Mentality, older companies need to rediscover or even redefine it. This action will distinguish those who remain on the list 10 or 20 years from now from those who drop out.’

(This article first appeared in the Mint)




In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.