Horizon37 continually and proactively invest in research in order to stay at the forefront of leadership development.

Our goal is to help entrepreneurs, executive teams, investors, mentors and board members to improve their performance during the scale-up phase, while also discovering which interventions make the most difference – so that we always deliver the most impactful and effective work possible.


The Leadership Proliferation Threshold

No one leading an innovation scale-up wants to join the 96% of start-ups that don’t get past 50 people.

Our combined Horizon37 and Cranfield University research team – with input from over 100 scale-up leaders in the innovation business ecosystem – has examined the huge impact leadership can have on success and failure during scale-up.

We define the moment for a scale-up where unprepared leadership can pose the greatest risk to the business as the Leadership Proliferation Threshold (LPT). SPOILER: Leadership must proliferate beyond the Founder/CEO for the scale-up business to thrive beyond the LPT.

The full academic report documenting the research method and findings in detail is available here.

Born or Made?

Can founders always lead scale-up businesses? How can we tell when the founder has what it takes to lead their radidly growing business?

With 50% of founders not making it past the three year mark as CEO, and an average UK business survival rate of just 41%, the statistics reflect the size of this leadership challenge.

We interviewed a cross section of current and former start up and scale up CEOs, investors, advisors, and those who interact with them to ask ‘Can founders lead scale up businesses?’. As leadership experts, we also asked what interventions make the most difference.

Can successful CEOs be ‘made’, and if so, how? – Read the full report here.

Villains vs. Value

What really works on scale-up boards? Can “villains” be valuable board members?

Villains vs. Value provides a conceptual framework for directors to serve effectively on a growth business board, including the most effective behaviours and ways of thinking.

We ask provocative questions about ‘villainous’ board behaviour, and other significant behavioural styles – both good and bad – observed in general management.

A major finding from this research is that how members behave and contribute can make the biggest difference between value creation and value destruction (even if the right people are doing the right things to achieve the right purpose, boards can fail spectacularly). This research goes a step beyond defining how to behave, and helps members assess their motivations and mindsets to challenge their behaviours.

Which scale-up board archetype best describes you? Read the full report here.