What we can learn from the formative business movement


A formative movement is a gut feeling for creating change. Through this gut feeling some of the most successful businesses have emerged. Problems spark ideas.

Formative Businesses

For example, Apples co-founder Steve Wozniak, “formative moment” came from his interest in engineering and coding. He didn’t understand why computers had to be so “God damn complicated” so, this passion for creativity and desire for change was the beginning of the largest computer company driven by a need to make user friendly technology.

Another example, Tracey Chou, Pinterest software engineer. Chou became a maverick for female engineers after feeling ostracised in the tech industry because of her gender. Pinterest was the only place in her words “where I felt like I was treated as an engineer, not just a female engineer” Because of this support to her greater cause of gender equality in the tech industry she believes it fired her up to grow Pinterest to what it is today.

What Can We Learn From Formative Business Moments?

What these success stories and many others show us is that success is a by-product of a great purpose.In the book Corporate Culture And Performance, John Kotter and James Heskett show that over a decade-long period, purposeful, value-driven companies outperform their counterparts in stock price by a factor of 12. The most successful and innovative businesses didn’t start with a want for profits but instead with a push for change.

How to Create a Formative Business

The key is to push for the change you want to see, then create a culture that centres on what you want to construct for yourself and others .

In other words create a shared value. As Michael Porter and Mark Kramer wrote inHarvard Business Review in 2011: “Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success.” Make this shared value your goal and, no matter how hard it gets always strive to achieve it.

With shared values everything else falls into place.

Your business is authentic, trustworthy and consistent. Your narrative is compelling and clear because it always points back to your shared value. Your leadership is strong because everyone is striving towards the same goal. Motivation is not an issue because everyone is just as passionate above the founders about the company purpose.

In today’s techdriven, rapidly evolving economy, successful companies are built not from the ground up, but from the purpose up.


Author: Leila Mezoughi

Leila is PCA’s Head Editor and Researcher. She holds a 1st class Law with Business degree and became a published author at 25. Former crime investigator turned business journalist. On a mission to show businesses that presenteeism is a thing of the past. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Typically found working from a white beach in South-East Asia embracing rapidly changing technology.

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What we can learn from the formative business movement - PCA LAW