The three powers that game-changing companies share

By adopting an exponential mindset, businesses can erase the divide between driving growth and doing good.

The Leadership Agenda

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PwC recently undertook research to shed light on how some companies have been able to transcend the stubborn divide between creating shareholder value and contributing meaningfully to the greater global good. How have such businesses—so-called game-changers—managed to become the source of great progress while still doing what businesses do best: innovating, investing, developing compelling products and services, and executing? First and foremost, they’ve recognised the fast-proliferating nature of the crises facing humanity, and they’ve responded in kind, by situating themselves at the intersection of the three imperatives shown in the diagram above. 

In short, with the right technology and the right business model, and in working with the right counterparts in the right way, businesses can enable prosperity and human health while creating and capturing immense value. This entails recognising that game-changers can’t go it alone: collaboration with ecosystem partners is crucial to success, as are the following actions:

  • Stay intensely focused on the long-term outcomes the business should deliver in the market. Assess your impact in the context of the industry or contribution to crises, not compared to, say, past performance against sustainability metrics.
  • Make large, intentional investments. Go beyond the bottom line for shareholders and dedicate significant funding to your ideas, providing the financial scale to demonstrate their viability. Focus on where you want to use technology to bolster your capabilities and make a few big bets that could give you a competitive edge.
  • Embed exponential technologies into your business model. Determine where and how these technologies can deliver on your value proposition, then amplify their impact. Capturing data, running simulations and other uses of technologies can continually improve performance and deliver faster responses to customer demands.
  • Build a culture that embraces change. Enable your teams to constantly innovate and iterate on how they deliver value. Technologies do little good if your people aren’t encouraged to experiment with them. Leaders and employees should be empowered to believe nothing is impossible.

Pursuing this path involves a fundamental mindset shift, one that sees value creation and growth as fundamentally compatible with solving big societal problems.

Explore real-world examples of companies that are building exponential models to make change happen.

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Sundar Subramanian

Sundar Subramanian

US & Mexico Strategy& Leader, PwC US

Anand Rao

Anand Rao

Global AI Lead; US Innovation Lead, Emerging Technology Group, PwC US

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