Do Grameen Bank and Facebook offer lessons on how to scale a customer centric business?


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This is one of my favourite quotes of all time:

“You can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough people get what they want’

Zig Ziglar from his 1975 book ‘See You At The Top

So, when I heard the following:

“The point of business is not really to make money; the point of business is to help people live better lives – and if you do that, people will give you money”

Charles Leadbeater from his The Secrets of Social Innovation at Scale talk as part of an Innovation lecture series hosted by The Economist Conferences.

I was struck by it and interested to find out more. I have known of Charles Leadbeater for some time. He is a leading write and thinker on innovation and so I was looking forward to seeing a video of his talk: The Secrets of Social Innovation at Scale.

In his talk he reflected on the changing nature of business and how relationships were becoming more and more important but also highlighted a key issue for business for how to scale things to deliver ROI.

He has come up with a really interesting way of looking at it using the level of systemisation in a business with the levels of empathy that a business has with its customers (see diagram below).

High System High Empathy the route to scale

To illustrate what he meant, Charles gives a couple of examples of businesses/organisations that are High System and High Empathy and they are:

which are both systemised businesses but have both ostensibly spread through relationships.

However, one of the things that he said that makes these two businesses different is that at their heart they have a ‘mission’ to change things and weren’t primarily motivated by money. Hence, the observation by Charles above.

Do you agree?

Can you think of any other examples that are High System and High Empathy but have a mission at their heart?

Thanks to Grameen Bank for the image.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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