We talk about evergreen all the time here at Blue Cypress. Even our namesake tree is, of course, an evergreen. So what does “evergreen” really mean to us?
Long-term thinking. Lasting impact. Life-long growth.
We can distill this into a simple concept: Blue Cypress builds and supports organizations that create enduring value and uplift people, concepts, and communities that contribute positively to the world.
Evergreen is a style of business that thinks about how to create enduring value, and not just for shareholders, but for all stakeholders. We identify our stakeholders as employees, customers, community members, and of course, shareholders. The long-term and holistic approach to creating value across our stakeholder groups is a critical element of being evergreen.
One of the key elements of value creation is alignment. It is critical that everyone is one the same page when it comes to priorities and how those priorities connect to the deeper vision of the long-term impact of the organization.
In the near term, there are always trade offs between various priorities, and sometimes that does mean that some stakeholders do better than others. Over the long run, however, a purpose-driven and values centric way of doing business can create true alignment amongst these diverse groups.
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The Blue Cypress family itself is designed to exist and create value over a very long period of time. We do this by investing in both services and disruptive technology companies that have the potential to impact the world in meaningful ways both now and in the future.
Of course, the trajectory of these two types of family members is very different.
Services companies evolve over time and adapt to new technologies. While some of our services companies have a technology component (e.g. “technology-enabled services companies”), they are at their core, services businesses.
The reason we invest so heavily in the services sector is that it is the key to actually getting things done for clients. While new technologies, business models, and other innovations are tremendously important, the hands-on work that services companies do with and for their clients will always be needed. In fact, when the rate of change accelerates, more help is typically needed and services-based companies build in value.
When we buy a services company, we plan to keep it as part of our family forever. Our goal is to grow it in a paced manner by focusing on a healthy and vibrant culture of learning.
Disruptive technology companies.
Hyper-growth disruptive tech companies require a level of capitalization, incredible fast go-to-market, and continual investment ahead of revenue that conflicts with longer-term principles of evergreen companies.
When these companies reach a level of maturity where they have penetrated a given market, often it requires a massive infusion of additional capital or combination with other businesses to achieve the next phase of scaling. For this reason, many of the startup technology companies that we create or invest in, will scale up, sell, or ( in some cases) go public.
Despite this model, we don’t just want every disruptive tech business as a part of Blue Cypress. We are really looking for technologies that are contributing to some greater purpose and giving value to those purpose-driven leaders looking to make a positive, lasting impact.
One of the foundational elements of our “evergreen” definition at Blue Cypress is the concept of continual growth. Like the blue cypress tree, we believe that both organizations and individuals within those organizations deserve continual, perennial growth.
We foster alignment, not just about priorities and long-term growth goals of our family companies, but alignment along cultural lines as well. This is a vital part of our evergreen model, as large-picture cultural goals of growth, progress, unity, commitment to the greater cause—all of these elements are necessary to create an atmosphere where growth, innovation, creativity, and forward momentum are celebrated instead of stifled.
Despite the different growth curves and opportunities for these as compared to our service businesses, we consider their value both today and how they might impact the future. And we also consider each member of the family as a unique growth investment. As the team members are empowered to try, fail, and succeed safely, growth becomes a part of the standard process and frees each individual to lift the entire Blue Cypress family to the sky.
To find out more about Blue Cypress and how we support entrepreneurs to grow their purpose-driven businesses, contact us for a consultation.
Photo by Josh Carter on Unsplash.