Technology: promoter of world progress

When it comes to efficiency and predictability, and delivering the same products through supply chain, all organizations are built for the XXth century. But, in definition, the world is different, premise by which the Exponential Organizations model is built. People know how to grow technologically, going from one user to ten thousand, but building long-term decisions is very stable. Now a day, we find organizations that are rapidly scaling up, as well as technology, and the reference points are those businesses that achieve growth ten times better than their competitors. If your company is 10 times more profitable than others, you can call it Exponential.

At the International Forum of Exponential Organizations: Adapting 10 times faster to the dynamic and globalized market, organized by CESA – School of Business, Salim Ismail explained that Exponential Organizations have three characteristics: first, they’ve got a massive transformational purpose, second, the team or group of employees is very small and use external methods to support their business, and last, it uses other’s attributes and goods to generate their own revenue.

Exponential organizations show that technology is the greatest means of progress in the world, that’s why it is important to know how to use it in order to take good decisions for companies.

Furthermore, people must consider that an existing organization must not turn into an Exponential organization because it is a very expensive project, but what can be done is to build a parallel and similar business. When an organization decides to create that new parallel model, it is important to keep it a secret, so that competitors don’t know what is happening, and may not attack the immune system.

During the event, Salim Ismail gave an exclusive interview to CESA School of Business.

  • What is an Exponential Organization?

    An exponential organization is an organization that has a disproportionately big impact and grows at least 10 times faster than its competitors, due to its use of new organizational techniques that focus on technology and acceleration. These are organizations that rather than using hundreds of people and huge buildings and physical locations, build themselves on information technology.

  • Is this technology changing the way business is done?

    They’re now living a turning point on how business is done. Before, business was selling something that was scarce; this new way of doing business actually sells something that abounds.

  • What is the impact of Exponential Organizations?

    They grow very fast and competitors are not able to go at the same pace. They have learned to reduce the cost of prime material.

  • What are the challenges and opportunities of ExO?

    The challenge is that if you don’t turn into one, your risk of disappearing is very high. We think that every kind of business will have to incorporate some level of ExO. Some already started: Coca-cola and Unilever, among others. They’re all starting to adapt and implement some kind of ExO characteristic.

  • What is their weakness?

    Mainly that their strength or function is based on information, and there are many companies they depend on that make part of the “mining” or construction of this information.

  • Is there ExO potential in Colombia?

    Colombian potential is unlimited, there is actually more potential than the US or Europe because the legacy that comes with the American or European mentality does not exist here. The economic model of developed countries is based on efficiency and predictability, but these organizations are much more effective because they fight uncertainty.

  • A recommendation for our companies to introduce this model:

    Create unity with users and own clients. Use artificial intelligence to find important information about consumers.


Salim Ismail is the Executive Director of Singularity University and best selling author of “Exponential Organizations”.

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