Coach’s Corner: How a Hot Town Makes For a Cool Company

By — 09.27.13

This week I happened to come across an article by McKinsey & Company that offered some insight into how to make a city great. The article struck me on a number of fronts:

1)      The amount of the “how” that has and is being done in Adlucent’s hometown of Austin,  which I am confident is one of the big “whys” Austin sits atop so many “best of” lists, and

2)      That the efforts  leaders go to in order to make their cities great are the same efforts CEOs engage in to make their company’s great.

McKinsey identifies three fundamental practices that great cities do well:

  • achieve smart growth
  • do more with less, and
  • win support for change

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Well, in reality we all know it is easier said than done, or we would have many more Great Cities and many more truly Great Companies. So let’s dig deeper at these fundamental practices and look at translating what McKinsey uncovered into what constitutes great company practices:

Fundamental

A Great City

A Great Company

Smart Growth “… identifies and nurtures the very best opportunities for growth, plans ways to cope with its demands, integrates environmental thinking, and ensures that all citizens enjoy a city’s prosperity.” …identifies and nurtures the very best market opportunities, anticipates customer needs and demands, and ensures all employees share in the company’s success.
Do more with less “…secures all revenues due, explores investment partnerships, embraces technology, make organizational changes that eliminate overlapping roles, and manages expenses.” …has best-in-class accounts receivables practices, pursues equity and partnerships to scale appropriately, and continuously streamlines operations to efficiently manage expenses.
Win support for change “…builds a high-performing team of civil servants, creates a working environment where all employees are accountable for their actions, and takes every opportunity to forge a stakeholder consensus with the local population and business community. They take steps to recruit and retain top talent, emphasize collaboration, and train civil servants in the use of technology.” …builds a high-performing team that in turn creates a workplace where all employees are not only accountable but also seek opportunities to partner across departments, and strategic alliances to forge greater outcomes. Further, they take steps to recruit and retain top talent, emphasize collaboration, and provide cutting edge technology to maximize productivity.

Again, not many differences here, right? Another parallel worth pondering is the coincidence of Great Companies thriving in, or seeking to relocate to, Great Cities in pursuit of prosperity. Sure, one could point to numerous tax incentives and the available local talent for why the likes of Facebook, Google, and Apple have set up shop in Austin over the past few years, but is that really it? Or could it be it because Great Cities breed Great Companies and vice versa?

I, for one, can say with confidence that the fabric and fundamentals of Austin are mirrored at Adlucent. As one of the slogans on our marquee put it: Adlucent: Cool Company in a Hot Town.

Adlucent Admin


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