Executives of mid-market companies are at an important crossroads of their career. Having grown their business beyond the startup stage, they are now looking to make the next step and scale up their business. What most executives are unaware of is that this requires a different skill set than what they used in the past, so they need to acquire new knowledge and retool their arsenal to face upcoming challenges.
Since 2011, this is the niche that Growth Institute has been filling, providing intensive training and support for more than 55,000 business leaders across over 11,000 companies to date. It uses a hybrid, online-first model of learning, allowing it to reach learners in at least 76 countries.
According to co-founder Daniel Marcos, the story behind Growth Institute goes back to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, which caused his previous company to go out of business. Despite the tremendous setback, he did not let it discourage him. Marcos harnessed his lifelong love for learning to further his knowledge and get his MBA, eventually becoming a business coach and founding Growth Institute with his mentor and world-renowned business thinker and author Verne Harnish.
"I've been an entrepreneur for 24 years, but what I've been since birth is a learner. After becoming an entrepreneur, I realized that, for any problem or opportunity I face in business, someone already went through that and figured out how to deal with it - and they most likely wrote a book about it. Learning has been so impactful in my life, and it is my passion. This is why I want to help more people become avid learners like me. Verne and I set out to establish the learning place I wish that I had when I was younger CEO."
Marcos was not satisfied with simply learning from books, so he started flying out to take courses with business thought leaders, attending conferences, and joining entrepreneurial organizations. These expanded his network with fellow entrepreneurs and CEOs, allowing them to exchange knowledge and insights that would help their respective companies grow.
However, Marcos found that it was difficult to implement changes in his business if he was the only one who had the knowledge. This is why Growth Institute encourages other business leaders from a company - not just the CEO - to take the courses, so that they have a common language and are in agreement on how to implement these tools. This is reflected in its rates, with special packages for companies sending multiple executives.
According to Marcos, there is a large demand for business learning nowadays, especially with the US economy appearing to head into a recession. For 4 consecutive years, including the peak of the COVID pandemic, Growth Institute was named to the Inc. 5000, which lists the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the US. Marcos credits this growth partly to the company's online-first model that allowed executives to learn remotely, as well as human nature to find support in their peers.
"I always say that education is a counter-cyclical industry, in that we do better when the economy is doing worse. When the economy is doing great, everyone's making a lot of money, which makes them confident, perhaps overconfident, and less likely to take time to learn new things. But, when things get tough, that's when people usually look for education and guidance. They look for a community to give them support."