CEO of Growth Tribe Academy and Entrepreneur
"Businesses should understand how to systematise their growth."
Anssi Rantanen is an entrepreneur, ex-Google employee and strategist. He won the 2019 Nordic Business Forum speaker competition. He regularly speaks to both large and small audiences and receives very high ratings.
Anssi talks about how the fastest growing companies in the world systematise their growth. Continuous learning and experimentation in both innovation and scaling products and services are at the heart of this new way of driving growth. Anssi’s examples come from large companies such as Google, Amazon and Skyscanner and small companies as well.
Anssi has a unique combination of technology-optimisim and human-centric thinking: his 3-year stint at Google gave him a frontrow seat to the technology revolution and into how the technology giant creates a culture of intrapreneurialism and continuous experimentation.
Rantanen believes that the future winners emphasize learning and self-directed teams. He’s noticed that many of the large companies lack the ability to take risks. “At the 100 000 employee size Google was still taking risks and being entrepreneurial was celebrated. There continuous learning was inherent in the culture, whereas most other corporates don’t embrace similar values” Rantanen says.
Today Anssi is the Finland CEO of the education company Growth Tribe Academy. Growth Tribe Academy is the first and largest growth academy in Europe.
The Future of Growth: how do the fastest-growing companies in the world systematise their growth?
An experimentation culture: everyone talks about, but how do you actually implement it?
The Future of Innovation: data-driven experimentation
Psychological safety, “fail fast” culture: celebrating failures and other best-practice principles of team work from silicon valley
You talk about companies having a growth mindset and culture. What conditions have to be present to enable this to happen?
A growth mindset (vs. a fixed mindset) is one where people have a fundamental belief that their intelligence can grow with time, effort and experience. When people believe they can get smarter, they realise that their efforts have a direct correlation to their results, so they put in extra time, which in turn leads to higher achievement.
A growth mindset or culture can also exist on an organisational level, where the goal of the organisation is to figure out how to add the maximum amount of value for stakeholders in the shortest amount of time. It’s a learning process, not something that can be dictated top-down. The best organisations (which these days are often tech companies) systematise their growth by learning what actually works and what doesn’t work. They do this by running experiments.
A growth mindset and culture can be trained and nurtured! Ideally, the organisation supports creating a growth mindset, where mistakes are “learning opportunities” and everyone is encouraged to take risks and try things out. A growth mindset can be developed on an individual level, but we really see organisations flourish when they take a systematic approach to developing it in their wider teams.
What is a Growth Academy and what benefits does it bring to businesses?
Growth Tribe Academy is an adult education company that teaches companies the mindset, the process, the skills and the technology that organisations need to maximise their growth.
What we do is study the fastest growing companies, and then teach those skills and tactics to other corporates.
The world is becoming more complex which means that organisations need to transition into becoming more agile and experiment-driven. This requires a large shift in the way companies and teams work. Our job is to educate people with the right mindset, skills and technology in order to succeed!
Why is digital disruption such a major factor in business growth today?
The scalability of digital technology operates on a completely different paradigm, which is why “traditional” corporates are experiencing challenges. Analog technology (factories, machines, tools etc.) scales linearly, whereas digital technology (software) scales infinitely due to nonexistent marginal costs. This is just a fancy way of saying that digital technology can be scaled globally with very little cost, whereas analog technology is very difficult to scale globally.
An example of this is WhatsApp. It had only 55 employees when it was acquired for $19 billion. Most companies with equivalent valuations have thousands of employees! And the reason for this is simple: it doesn’t require practically any additional costs for the company when a new WhatsApp user downloads the piece of software.
To summarise, digital disruption is a major factor because of the inherently different properties it has. Traditional companies are experiencing difficulties because the same laws don’t apply anymore!
What do you believe the future of a successful company looks like; who will be the winners?
I think the answer to this is already evident: the fast-moving, experiment-driven companies will win.
In 2008 only 1/10 of the world’s most valuable companies were tech companies. In 2018 that number had grown to 7/10. The tech companies are way faster, more experiment-driven, and systematically try out a lot of things. For example, Google has killed hundreds of products that didn’t reach the scale that they hoped to achieve. The more you experiment the more you learn, the more you learn the faster you grow.
Jeff Bezos, the richest man on earth, has said the following: our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day. Being wrong might hurt you a bit, but being slow will kill you.
The winners of the future will live according to this mantra!
“I believe that the future winners emphasize learning and self-directed teams.”
“A growth mindset and culture can be trained and nurtured!”
To book Anssi Rantanen
Anssi’s keynotes have been delivered to both startups and corporates. He also delivers training courses on growth hacking. His content focuses on digital growth and automation. He talks about the growth mindset and culture and how companies can systematise their growth.