“Without continuous change, there is no growth”

“Without continuous change, there is no growth”

Milano Home meets Giuseppe Morici, Vice-President of Feltrinelli, who in his latest book explores the theme of business growth from different angles. "For a company - he says - questions are more important than answers."

“This book is dedicated to an obsession of mine, the obsession with moving forward.” Sitting at one of the Feltrinelli tables in via Pasubio, Giuseppe Morici, a manager who has worked in marketing, consulting and then as General Manager and CEO in various companies, including Procter & Gamble, Monitor, Barilla and Bolton, and who is now Vice-President of the Feltrinelli Group, presents his latest book, "Growth is a big deal, because a company's intentions matter more than its size", published by Feltrinelli. "An amulet against unhappiness” for companies.


Thinking about the future means imagining it and understanding, before others, the obstacles to be overcome and the opportunities to be seized


Growth is the keystone on which the entire argument developed by Morici rests, an obsessive thought that can be grasped in its entirety by turning the pages of the twelve chapters (all titled with a single word: Tales, Genres, Government, Strengths, etc.) of which the text is composed with a "temporary conclusion, awaiting another future".


"Identity and growth - where growth refers not to the size but to the personality of the company - is the dilemma of the intelligent and far-sighted entrepreneur". Only the company that manages to combine these two ingredients will create value,” says Morici. Two ingredients, then, and three periods of time: the past, identity and culture, the future, strategy and the project and the present, performance and operations.


“Size is not relevant: there are small businesses with big ambitions”


Size? It isn’t relevant in defining a company as a large. What matters is “the mentality, the culture, the way of managing the internal conversation between the people who work there, which is also the premise of dialogue with the outside world.” And thus the author, after years of claiming that one of Italy's ills is the dwarfism of its economic fabric, has to make a mea culpa.


I changed my mind,” he says, “and I changed it for two reasons. The first is that the size of a company is by no means a guarantee of immunity from typical microbusiness problems. The second is that I met small companies with big ambitions, and I became more focused on the issue. It is not about size, but about intentions", because growth is a matter of completeness and integration rather than size.


The attitude, the mental habitus of the entrepreneur, of the head of the company must, therefore, reconcile culture and change. “Without continuous change, there is no growth.”


"The root of the problem lies in the fact that those who are temporarily at the helm of a company do not think of the time after them."


"A company should believe that it will never end, it should plan for its eternity or at least its longevity. The root of the problem lies in the fact that those who are temporarily at the helm of a company do not think of the time after them, and by not planning for the growth or longevity of their company, they determine its end. Those who guide them have essentially only one task: ensure continuity, helping to improve their fortunes. Securing the future, not controlling all aspects of the present, and certainly not dwelling on the past. The past must hold hands with the present in order to realise the future.”


A triple dimension of life that requires a balance between the three periods of time.


Specialise in the art of dealing with what isn't there yet



Growth as an obsession, as we were saying, but what do you have to do to grow?


You need to keep your senses active: your eyes to keep seeing; your ears ready to hear the news; your touch, ready to touch what comes your way and, indeed, to go to meet it; your sense of smell, trained to recognise the scent of beauty and the bad smell of something to be feared; and, above all, a good heart and soul, but not naive in the face of others and their proposals."


There are different case histories and leadership - "the art of dealing with what isn't there, which is very different from being a leader". Morici cites some examples. From Sergio Marchionne to Steve Jobs, from Apple to Ferrero, from Ikea to Spotify, from Porsche to Feltrinelli, to Molino Andriani, founded by brothers Michele and Francesco, who in 2009 in Gravina di Puglia set out on a risky mission to say the least: to produce the best and most sustainable gluten-free pasta in the world, "starting with what they didn't have and what they didn't know.”


A tangible example of this openness to the future, without losing sight of the present - "the future of a few years ago" - is the concept store, a kind of evocative environment that offers a series of experiences that are as different as they are complementary. Between the tasting of a good glass of wine, art exhibitions, the presentation and sale of products and much more, the sales experience is permeated by a relaxed and convivial atmosphere. Even for the traditional store, the principle does not change: knowing how to intercept and control evolution is necessary.


Move forward, therefore, keeping the principles and values that have helped to create a successful model. This is one of the cornerstones of the project for change


The author ends with a quote from the great Austrian composer, Gustav Mahler:

Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. Ashes are a sacred thing that must be cared for with the utmost respect, but companies thrive thanks to those who tend the fire, not the ashes.”


A universal message for growth-oriented companies.  Small or large, domestic and artisanal, it makes no difference

Far crescere un’azienda e come far crescere un figlio - Il commento di Marco Missiroli

La crescita è il cuore pulsante del libro di Morici che Missiroli – scrittore nato a Rimini ma milanese d’adozione, vincitore, tra agli altri, del Premio Campiello Opera Prima con il suo romanzo d'esordio, Senza coda (Fanucci 2005; Feltrinelli 2017) e di Fedeltà (Einaudi, 2019 e 2021, Premio Strega Giovani, da cui è tratta una serie tv originale di Netflix) – definisce “un romanzo” per lo stile di scrittura lieve, morbido, scorrevole che accompagna il lettore in un percorso che ai più può apparire tortuoso e complesso da attraversare e che invece, pagina dopo pagina, coinvolge e appassiona, in alcuni passaggi emoziona per quei paragoni ripetuti tra adolescenza e fondatori, eredi e adulti, giovani e generatività. Il parallelo tra la crescita di un’azienda e quella dei figli, dei genitori e della sua famiglia nel suo insieme si regge sull’assioma che entrambi hanno a che fare con lo sguardo, con la cultura, con le parole, con le esperienze, con gli incontri “e soprattutto con la possibilità che concediamo a tutti questi fattori di influenzarci e di cambiarci”.