How to manage a rapid growth, with incessant hiring, offices becoming too small, incessant organizational changes? How to keep the soul of the company and the dynamics of success in companies in hypergrowth?
OVH is a good example of a scale-up facing this problem because the company experienced a growth crisis after numerous hirings, and the acquisition of an American company. How did its CEO react?
-a turnover of more than €400 million,
-2,000 people in 2018,
-a presence in 19 countries,
-a growth of 30% to 50% per year,
-80 new hires per month
From its beginnings as a low-cost hosting provider for small businesses, OVH has extended its offer to large accounts and has innovated in many areas: disruptive technologies, automation, pay-per-use, etc. So the data centers follow one another… but the team cohesion does not follow and hypergrowth creates tensions.
"I realized that even if our corporate culture was very strong and different, it wouldn't be enough to sustain it. I had forgotten an essential step: to describe this corporate culture, to choose and put down the words."
"We did the exercise in a participative way, involving the whole company, (…) and we have aligned ourselves with the company's ambition, its higher purpose, its vision and its values".
"Before being a technical or commercial adventure, OVH is above all a human adventure. You have to know how to create a collective to then move on to technical, commercial and geographical challenges. »
Formalizing the corporate culture by involving employees is the most effective way to create a powerful collective energy and align the entire company.
This allows for example to match old and new employees and avoid silos.
Faced with the American (GAFA) and Chinese (BATX) Internet mastodons, OVH is the only European player capable of taking up the challenge! This position of assumed challenger stimulates the commitment of employees and provides them with reasons and opportunities to surpass themselves.
OVH is organized around more than 80 "intra-companies". Each intra-company has its objectives, its teams and a flat organization.
Agility, autonomy, initiative, speed of decision making, risk-taking prevail... are an intrinsic part of the corporate culture.
Octave Klaba (OVH’ CEO) is convinced that employees who are happy and know why they get up in the morning will give the best of themselves at work.
OVH cares about the well-being of its employees and shows it with the implementation of numerous benefits: free coffee, gym, music room, nursery, electric shuttle, canteen, doctor, hairdresser, osteopath, etc.
"It's easy to understand when you join OVH what kind of company you're in."
The recipe for motivation at OVH: a good atmosphere, challenge every day, permanent innovation, sport, team spirit and the surpassing of oneself.
"To build a great company, you first have to develop a corporate culture... The corporate culture is a set of elements that make employees want to get up in the morning and that make customers trust the company...". Octave Klaba
Formalizing the corporate culture is necessary but often partially done by scale-up leaders. This is generally limited to the definition of values ... The job of Harmonist has been created to help you detail and leverage it.
Having laid such a solid foundation, OVH seems well on its way. Let's wish to this French company the success it deserves, in the face of the fierce competition from the GAFA and BATX!
Patrick Vignaud, Harmonist
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