The CFO of a Super Unicorn Reveals $ecrets
Investing in CQ (cultural intelligence), increases ROI
Only a tiny fraction of startups become unicorns let alone super unicorns. Unicorns are privately held startup companies valued at over $1B; decacorns over $10 billion; hectocorns make it over $100 billion. According to wikipedia, the term “unicorn” was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures.
In high-growth, human capital-driven businesses (e.g., knowledge-driven, service-oriented) like the super unicorn we interviewed below… the cultural intelligence (CQ) of the senior leadership team is often vastly superior compared to the average company. CQ is the determining factor in whether or not the value/magic of most unicorns is sustained or lost as it scales. Similarly, low CQ is the primary reason given, in 100% of the M&A deals where value is lost, according to both corporate and PE leaders.
CQ IS 100% DETERMINISTIC, 100% OF THE TIME
100% means that cultural intelligence and organizational culture competency is deterministic. Leadership teams win more often, when they treat culture like the technical competency that it is. Leadership teams lose (100% of the time) when they think they already have culture covered or when they delegate it. Best case scenario, the losing is relative to how much more you “could have” won (how much suffering you could have avoided for yourself & others) with a stronger CQ.
CQ determines whether or not the business environment is healthy (i.e., constructive) or unhealthy (i.e., aggressive, defensive); psychologically safe or not safe. CQ determines how much of our org potential (i.e., IQ, EQ, AQ) we have access to and the quality of org potential that we can mobilize to deliver value for stakeholders (e.g., Cx, Ex). The ROI is very measurable and the model is very simple to learn.
Organizations achieve exceptional, sustainable results once they strengthen their CQ.