How to Inspire an Ownership Spirit Among Employees – Richard Branson
At Virgin, we have never had to struggle with the typical problems of big corporations, probably because we never really got big – we just diversified. Our growth was once described as “vertical disintegration” because our new businesses frequently appear to be tangential or even completely unrelated to our core mission. When Virgin was known for producing and selling records, for instance, we started up an airline.
We see a uniting factor in our dedication to customer service. Instead of becoming a huge, bloated entity locked into a single sector, these tangential forays have kept our company fresh and different – we are always learning new businesses and recruiting smart new people. Each Virgin company is run by its own largely autonomous management team that relies on the same small-business principles we’ve employed since the very beginning.
Whatever route you decide to take as you expand your business, make sure that it builds on your company’s past successes, and that it fits with the corporate culture and the vision for the future that you and your team have created. If someone says, “That’s not the way a big company would do it,” take it as a compliment!