SGCTen years ago, Bo Burlingham wrote a business book named Small Giants which became quite popular. So much so that communities have sprung up around the world to support businesses which are putting these concepts to work.

What’s the new idea?

Bo profiled a number of companies who built powerful organizations by choosing to remain privately held. Typically, these are smaller in size than the monstrous public corporations, but they have greater freedom to make decisions based on long term benefits rather than this quarter’s shareholder returns.

For their size, they tend to be more profitable, more focused, and more sustainable. Hence the name “small giants.”

We were fortunate to have the yearly Small Giants Summit in Denver just a couple of weeks ago, and the atmosphere was electric. Since this is the 10-year anniversary of Bo’s seminal work, the mood was enthusiastic when the audience of around 200 welcomed him in a celebration of his life’s work. He’s been a central writer for Inc. magazine and the author of a range of great books, and recently helped Forbes magazine highlight the best small companies in America.

The Summit in Denver included six powerful stories from leaders who have taken their businesses through a variety of challenges, each helping us to understand the difficulties they faced and the core principles they used to make their decisions.

Every business is different, and the history is still being written in real time. That’s just the way it is when you’re learning from the best.

The Summit also included a problem-solving session for a couple of brave volunteers, hosted by our very own Trebuchet Group. I’ve never seen this done at a conference, but the results were deep and powerful. It’s amazing what can happen when you tap the wisdom of this many people!

We also had time for great networking, a roundtable discussion with the Forbes writers, and of course plenty of inspiration. New Belgium, Green Ride Colorado and Trebuchet Group hosted a follow-on tour through Fort Collins locations.

There are Small Giants communities forming in Fort Collins and Denver building on the great momentum online and in cities such as Chicago, Dallas, Fresno and Lincoln.

Are you building a great, sustainable, powerful business that will change the world?

This article was first published in InnovatioNews.