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The Exponential Organisation

What is an exponential organisation?
3 minute read

I have just finished a great book called Exponential Organisation’s by Salim Ismail. Salim, just in case you haven’t heard of him, founded some of the most influential tech companies at the foundation of our digital society, including PubSub Concepts and Angstro, which Google acquired in 2010. Basically, the guy is pretty intelligent and knows his onions on all thing’s exponential growth related. It’s a great read – I highly recommend it.

I have pulled out a few key topics of the book which resonated highly with me and relate directly to what we are delivering as part of the ten80 ecosystem. I am going to cover them in three further short posts – so make sure you read all the component parts.

What is an exponential organisation?

Let’s start at the beginning and frame Salim’s work. If we take a look at the organisations that have dominated the last decade, those at the top of the pile have accelerated and grown at a rate far faster than anyone could have expected. These are typically categorised as exponential organisations (ExO’s as Salim coins them). These companies grow at an above-average rate – up to ten times faster than comparable companies in the industry – but do so with considerably fewer resources thanks to new forms of organisation and the use of new, especially digital, technologies.

Salim Ismail has done some great research in this field and has identified 11 attributes that characterise the paradigmatic ExO. His book Exponential Organisations talks these through in delightful detail and once aware of them are highly obvious in organisations that rank ‘best in world’. The model, which with a bit of creative licence, is neatly explored via the term IDEAS SCALE.

In this lmini-series I want to pick out a couple of key components around staffing, community and algorithm. All close to my heart given the work we do with ten80. The first post is on Staffing on Demand.

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