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Richard Branson Wins Again

From the latest Google newsletter, Think Quarterly, comes this brilliant excerpt from an article about Richard Branson, CEO of, well, many things:

Plenty of billionaires tout humble roots involving lemonade stands and assembly-line factory jobs, but few are as adamant as Branson that all their employees know what it’s like to be part of a small operation up against far bigger competitors. At Virgin Records, he’d even split up employees’ physical workspaces as the company grew in order to maintain an underdog atmosphere.

“As the record company got bigger, when it had more than 100 people in a building, I’d go in and ask to see the deputy managing director, the deputy sales manager, the deputy marketing manager, and I’d say, ‘You’re now the marketing manager, the sales manager, of a new company,’ and we would then find a new building, set up a brand new company, and we kept on replicating this,” Branson explains. “We had about 25 different record companies in 25 different buildings, rather than one massive group of people in one building. It seemed to work, and so as much as possible we continued to try to do that. I think if you’ve got more than 150 people, it’s very difficult for a chief executive to know everybody and for everybody to know each other well.”

I would love to see this happen in my office of 330 – divide everyone up into 3 or 4 teams and make sure everybody knows everybody and stays connected to each other and to the mission.

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