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Ciuci’s Sustainable Business Growth Framework

Ciuci’s Sustainable Business Growth Framework


Over 50% of small businesses crumble or struggle to survive beyond their first five years.[1] Ciuci Consulting, after successfully executing over 350 projects by providing innovative strategies and consumer intelligence for businesses over the course of 13 years, understands that people are the common connectors of other business resources like finance, materials, methods, and machines. Therefore, the most recurrent challenges businesses face are people-problems. Without the right people strategy, the sustainability of a business is threatened.  To help businesses understand, develop, nurture and meet their “people” needs, “Ciuci’s Sustainable Business Growth Framework” was developed. Applying the framework helps businesses achieve strategic advantage, an adaptive leadership system and overall business growth.

The Framework

This framework is a combination of the characteristics of inspirational leadership and a dynamic workforce. The 4 traits of an inspirational leader used in this framework were adopted from the “33 traits of inspirational leadership” research conducted by Mark Horwitch and Whipple Callahan at Bain & Co.

  1. Inspirational Leadership

Today, workplaces require inspirational leaders who guide, direct and motivate people to achieve sustained productivity. This framework adopted 4 key traits from the inspirational leadership* research conducted by Bain & Co. Ciuci identified these traits as critical to inspirational leadership as they are key to solving people-problems in organizations.

These traits are essential as leadership is not about control, but about empowering people to become better versions of themselves. They include:

  • Developing inner resources:[1] These resources are the characteristics required of a good leader such as flexibility, optimism, high-stress tolerance, etc. Self-awareness is an important element required to appropriately exhibit these traits because leadership is about understanding your internal feelings and thoughts while still achieving what needs to be achieved.
  • Connecting with others:[2] This requires emotional and social intelligence and developing them will improve a leader’s interpersonal relationship skills.
  • Setting the tone:[3] Leading by example and openness can set the tone for a transparent feedback system.
  • Leading the team:[4] This is the ability to direct a team to achieve its vision effectively. It can be through empowerment, mentoring or coaching.

The impact of an inspirational leader can transform a business. For example, while working on a transformation project, Ciuci discovered that some of the employees were not equipped with the right skill sets for their jobs and authority was overcentralised. To change this, Ciuci had some of its consultants who were subject matter experts take up key roles and lead by example. In addition, critical stakeholder management was done to ensure that change management was successful.

As a result, set objectives at the start of the project were met with minimal deviation and maximum efficiency. This success increased the business’ revenue by over 40 million naira.

Dynamic Workforce

A dynamic workforce is a great blend of people who are willing and capable of growing an organization. This diverse set of people typically have a positive attitude, are teachable, eager to expand their skill sets and deliver stellar performance[5]. Such a workforce exhibits the following:

  • Diversity: Having people from various backgrounds and experiences, showcases the organization’s openness to diversity. A diverse team is characterized by differences in race, ethnicity, gender, age, skills, etc. When an organization adopts diversity in its recruitment strategy, it has a higher potential of expanding its skill base, innovative capacity, global perspective, and general warmth.
  • Creativity: The creativity of a workforce can be through innovative solutions, unconventional methods, contemporary processes, and systems. A creative workforce is focused on continuous improvement of themselves and the organisation.
  • Culture: The culture and personalities of the most senior executives in the organisation influence the entire company. The goal, however, is to have a self-sustaining culture that is not solely dependent on the leaders of the organisation. It should instead be imbibed in every employee through shared attitude, beliefs and interactions.
  • Technology: The more dynamic the workforce, the easier it is for them to adapt to technological advancements.

From Ciuci’s experience, having a dynamic workforce by combining the characteristics highlighted can have profound results on a business. When Ciuci helps clients train their staff, it usually entails realignment with the company’s culture, strategies to foster innovative problem solving and general human capital development. In one particular case, there was a challenge in how a client’s staff assessed, measured and documented social impact activities in the company, as they did not know about certain innovative social impact assessment methods or have the technological expertise to assist in the successful delivery of their strategic objectives. Ciuci was able to ensure that they had a dynamic workforce, therefore enhancing their competencies in these areas.

The overlap

The overlap of inspirational leadership and a dynamic workforce is critical to solving people-problems and promoting the sustainable growth of any organization. It establishes a loop where inspirational leadership fuels the dynamic workforce. In return, the dynamic workforce supports the leader to serve better. This cycle of energy and motivation creates the right environment where people can thrive in a sustainable business.

This framework has enhanced Ciuci’s approach to helping clients solve their burning issues. For example, in a project that required an increase in sales and profit margins, Ciuci collated the challenges of the company into two buckets- misaligned leadership and poor workforce. It was discovered that some of the company’s senior executives were not fit for the positions. In addition, the work ethics and competencies of employees were below the required standards. Using Ciuci’s Sustainable Business Growth Framework, a strategy was developed to build a system entrusted to the workforce, which led to the growth of the company.


Ciuci’s Sustainable Business Growth Framework is a 360-degree approach to tackling people-problems in businesses. The effective combination of inspirational leadership and a dynamic workforce is key to developing excellent people who trigger sustainable business growth. Some of the benefits of adopting this framework include having committed and engaged employees, an improved management system and overall organizational growth.

[1] (Mark Horwitch and Meredith Whipple Callahan, 2016)

[2] (Mark Horwitch and Meredith Whipple Callahan, 2016)

[3] (Mark Horwitch and Meredith Whipple Callahan, 2016)

[4] (Mark Horwitch and Meredith Whipple Callahan, 2016)

[5] (Biro, 2019)

[1] (Deane, 2019)

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