Disruption & Adaptation18

Founder’s Mentality and Micro-battles: Summary

Founder’s Mentality and Micro-battles by Jimmy Allen | Senior Partner @ Bain and Company

Jimmy Allen,

March 14, 2018


Only about one company in eleven has sustained profitable growth during the past decade—and for those that failed to grow, over 85% of company leaders blame internal factors for this shortfall.

The few companies that sustain growth do so by maintaining their ‘Founder’s Mentality ®’ – a set of characteristics that are typically embodied by bold, visionary founders, which powers the growth of insurgent businesses.

This requires deliberate and imbalanced focus on a set of interventions to restore speed, focus and build stronger connections with customers. The goal of this approach (the ‘Micro-Battles System SM’) , is to create a functioning microcosm of the company that you want to be – one that is oriented around teams that can crack tough business problems with speed and scale them effectively, while building peer-to peer-learning systems to improve these solutions continuously.

Companies that have deployed this approach have seen tremendous results in a short period of time, and created new ways of working, which over time begin to re-shape their culture. At an industrial company which adopted this approach, sales growth went from flat to double-digit, and within two years, the company’s share price doubled. At another chemicals company which implemented this approach, the company went from underperforming its peers to growing at twice the industry average. Some of the most powerful changes involved enabling business unit leaders to spend 80% of their time on frontline and customer activities, cutting complexity in support functions and simplifying governance, speeding up cadence and reinvesting freed-up resources in the most critical customer activities. Micro-battles also played a more symbolic role – in energizing employees by proving that the organization was capable of delivering fast results and was no longer bogged down by complexity.

Jimmy Allen, a senior partner who co–leads Bain’s global strategy practice and is also a co-author of the book on Founder’s Mentality, will be sharing Bain’s insights on how any leader can instill and leverage a Founder’s Mentality ® throughout the organization, and build an insurgent business that scales, using the Micro-Battles approach.

Allen - Founder's Mentality and Micro-battles Summary


Jimmy Allen

Jimmy AllenSenior Partner @ Bain and Company

Jimmy Allen is a senior partner in Bain & Company’s London office and is co-head of Bain’s Global Strategy Practice. He leads Bain’s initiative on the Founder’s Mentality 100 (FM100) – a program focused on high growth insurgents. Jimmy also co-leads the Bain Insights Group and is a co-author of their work on Firm of the Future. He has over 30 years of consulting experience and has been recognized as one of the ‘Global Leaders in Consulting’, in Consulting magazine’s 2017 list.

Jimmy is the author of Founder’s Mentality ® (which ranked at the top of Amazon and Harvard Business Review’s best-seller lists, and was a top pick by The Washington Post and Forbes) and numerous articles on growth, and co-author of two HBR books on growth strategy: Repeatability and Profit from the Core. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.




Subscribe to “Emergence: the Journal of Business Agility”

Delivered to your mailbox four times a year, we bring together a curated selection of exclusive stories by great thinkers and practitioners from around the globe that you’ll only find in our publication.

These stories, research reports, and articles were selected to broaden your horizons and spark your creativity.

Subscribe now

BAI Individual Membership Benefits

  • Unrestricted access the business agility library

  • Download complete eBooks on the most pressing topics

  • Replay your favourite moments from any of the global Business Agility Conferences

  • Network with your peers from around the world

  • Member discount on your subscription to Emergence

Join now
1 / Infinity

18 hours ago, 51 seconds read

Extreme Hiring for Agile Teams

3 weeks ago, 33 seconds read

State of Agility in Procurement & Supply

2 years ago, 12 minutes read

Haier Elevation

You have NaN out of 5 free articles to read

Please subscribe and become a member to access the entire Business Agility Library without restriction.