How to grow your business from 0 to £1bn in 4 years

Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy founder and CEO was the first guest on our ‘My Entrepreneurial Journey’ series which took place at Central Working White City. Frantic note-taking was observed throughout the course of the evening, a clear indication that our attendees were finding the session useful and more than that, inspirational.

Here’s a handy recap of the evening.

For someone who regularly responds to customer emails himself, it’s no surprise that company culture features high on Greg’s list of priorities. Brought up by a single parent, perhaps the key to Greg’s success is in having learnt the real value of what counts and understanding the fundamental requirements of growing a business. There is also a certain amount of risk-taking and taking the time to identify where the market sits. What also sets Greg apart from other entrepreneurs is a refreshing openness and an ongoing collaborative dialogue with his team.

A few of Greg’s insights

On Business:
– Having the courage to go for it
-Don’t let fear of failure hold back ambition, articulate it
– Integrity, culture, and hard work get you through the hardest times
– Tech, culture, pace and operating model are critical to the success of Octopus Energy
– Keep KPIs relevant and brief

On Company Culture:
– At Octopus Energy, teams are autonomous as if “running their own small businesses” creating sense of ownership.
– Use data to determine both customer and team happiness.
– Maintaining the company’s culture is important.
– Each Friday 5:15pm, get employees together to discuss the week just gone. Highlight that everyone shares a common goal, celebrate success and help employees   realise how great they are.

On Talent
– Shape job around person rather than vice versa. Instead of enforcing what a role should look like, observe employees’ approach and what they’re good at. Access    the magic they can bring, making it easier to fit your team together rather than vertically aligning objectives.
– Spend time finding the right people for your team, not a single role.

On Work-life Balance:
– Greg talks about a “work-life blend” rather than ‘balance.’

Greg’s Book Club For Entrepreneurs And Startups
Greg recommends the following books for further reading:

Getting To Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury
More With Less: Paul MacCready And The Dream Of Efficient Flight by Paul Ciotti
The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture And Operation by Frank O’ Brien

To hear Upstream’s podcast of the evening click here or the podcast button below