Improving organisational development and management capabilities of unicorns

According to PwC’s analysis, unicorns have gained significant momentum globally in recent years, driven mainly by factors such as capital market favourability and policy support. However, unicorns also face many management challenges and difficulties in the process of rapid expansion. How to ensure stable and long-term development and achieve sustainable and lasting growth has become a topic that the management teams of unicorns are constantly exploring.

To facilitate the high-quality development of unicorns, PwC proposes the Growth Driving Power Model for unicorns based on their characteristics. By enhancing product power, constructing platform power, and clarifying the ‘power’ of responsibilities and rights, PwC can help companies improve their management and organisational development.

Using on the Growth Driving-Power Model, PwC will assess the ‘growth health’ of unicorns, uncover pain points and challenges for each driving factor, and provide a set of targeted solutions to support unicorns as they pursue a more ambitious future.

Three major management and operation challenges for unicorns

Difficulties in acquiring, and retaining key talent and core teams

The product innovation and operational capabilities of unicorns depend on the continued efforts of key talent and core teams. However, with a shortage of exceptional talent in the workforce and a lack of attention to the team structures within the the company can easily lead to a brain drain.

Lack of preparedness in organisational operation

The overall capabilities of the middle and back offices are key to helping companies deal with rapid business iteration and external risks. However, rapidly evolving companies rarely devote sufficient effort to developing these capabilities. Management relies heavily on the experience and judgement of the core management team, leaving some long-term development risks hidden.

Organisational agility fails to achieve the desired effect, increasing internal friction

The organisational model helps to implement the business strategy and a reasonable distribution of rights and responsibilities is the key to creating cohesion within the company.

Unicorns are still in the process of continuous reviewing their development paths, and it is easy to make “patching” adjustments to their organisational structure based on business needs. As a result, the boundaries of authority and responsibility within the organisation are unclear and organisational effectiveness is greatly reduced, making it difficult to effectively implement the strategy.

Growth Driving Power Model for unicorns

Unicorns need to consider building long-term core competitiveness to maintain sustainable growth and innovation strength. Starting from the companies’ DNA and the choice of growth path, unicorns should continue to consolidate their advantages, strengthen their weaknesses, and strive to improve their organisational model and management mechanism to continuously build winning competencies for future development.

Based on the characteristics of unicorns, PwC has tailor-made the Growth Driving Power Model to support unicorns in upgrading product power, constructing platform power and clarifying the ‘power’ of responsibilities and rights. The model provides references and guidance for organisational development and management improvement.

独角兽 企业成长助力模型

Innovate and improve product power

Improve the product operations capabilities, intellectual property rights and brand protection throughout the chain – from research & development and product development to commercialisation.

From a systemic perspective, PwC analyses and designs operations across multiple dimensions, including the industry path, organisational model, talent market and incentive practices, to create a model that improves product power.

Starting with a strategic consensus, a talent portrait, and collaborative incentives, and leveraging their product innovation advantage, PwC helps unicorns to continuously transform and strengthen the capabilities of their leaders and teams during the start-up phase, to transform and consolidate organisational capabilities and to protect product brands and intellectual property rights.

Practice internal capacities and construct platform power

From the perspective of organisational and operational processes, PwC establishes a platform power development path that matches the development of unicorns and balances the needs of agile business development with the requirements of robust organisational development.

The journey follows a three-part process:

  • Implement accurate business mirroring: sort out and identify the status quo of business operations and process mechanisms, and identify challenges in internal operations.
  • Reinforce the operation management mechanism: form agile and stable middle and backoffice operations capabilities, solidify necessary organisational mechanisms and improve platform support capabilities.
  • Solidify capabilities through digital means: redesign middle and backoffice operations, and internal management with digital tools, and improve the quality and efficiency of organisational operations.

Clarify the ‘power’ of responsibilities and rights with everyone doing their job

From an perspective of organisational development and leadership improvement perspective, PwC’s organisational development and improvement of decision-making power method promotes the rational allocation of rights, responsibilities, and interests within organisations and helps companies create maximum synergy:

  • Systematic adjustment of organisational structure: make systematic adjustments of the company’s organisational structure according to strategic and operational requirements in order to ensure the effective transmission and execution of strategic objectives and key tasks.
  • Optimise the mechanism for allocation responsibilities, rights and interests: establish a division of responsibilities and differentiated rights lists based on the organisational characteristics of the front, middle and back office. Focus on the allocation of rights and responsibilities in core business scenarios and promote efficient collaboration within the organisation.
  • Standardise the decision-making framework: establish a stable decision-making framework for its three phases – before, during and after decision-making – standardise the procedures and clarify the rules for evidence-based decision-making.

Contact us

Johnny Yu

Workforce Advisory Leader, PwC China

Tel: +[86] (10) 6533 2685

Olive Lu

Partner, PwC China

Tel: +[86] (10) 6533 7066

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