Imagine a business with no formal c-suite, no real offices, no official structure and where really anything goes. Would you also imagine this business to have a 70% growth rate with over 50 new affiliate locations opening every week? That isn’t a fantasy – that’s CrossFit. Some call it a cult, but the C-Suite aims to get to the bottom of its growth.
C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett visited CrossFit in San Diego, CA, one of the hottest brands in the fitness industry right now. It’s a $100 million company with over 80,000 trainers across over 8,000 affiliate gyms in over 100 countries.
What are they doing that other brands aren’t?
They aren’t all things to all people.
They are a no frills; take it like you see it company. They are changing the face of the fitness industry with a product that isn’t for everyone. Gyms aren’t packed with the latest machines and juice bars. They’re grimy, sweaty, hard-to-find gyms with unique, sometimes hardcore members who have made CrossFit a lifestyle, not a destination.
Anti-corporate and no structure.
CrossFit doesn’t give its affiliates rules and regulations they have to live by in order to own a business. They pay a licensing fee, attend training and open their own gym using the equipment they want, the name they designate and even the color schemes they find most appealing. CrossFit isn’t micromanaging their affiliates; instead, they’re giving all of the control to them.
Their leadership team understands the brand vision and has drunk the Kool-Aid.
They’re 100% devoted, fully understanding Glassman’s vision and the steps necessary to get it done. Although their c-suite is unconventional, the culture within the company allows them to speak freely and move fluidly. According to Glassman, their decision-making structure might resemble that of a church group or biker gang but it’s working for them. It’s something a small business can afford, but as CrossFit grows their mission is to scale that mindset.
Their team is widespread but they find ways to get together.
CrossFit has no formal home, virtual offices, and leadership team members who are working from homes scattered throughout the world. They have yearly training meetings with their affiliates but go above that to include meetings anywhere they can get together – jets, BBQs, Africa, or even the company-owned homes where the team can gather.
They reinforce the core identity and mission to their brand ambassadors.
CrossFit doesn’t overly self-promote. They let their brand ambassadors – their affiliates and trainers – do that. The trainers and affiliates are so passionate about the brand and their business that it trickles into everything they do, which feed ultimately into CrossFit’s bottom line.
CrossFit is unconventional, it’s without walls and a successful virtual team committed to maintaining the core principals of what is undeniably an organic movement in destructive industry innovation and disruption.
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a global business celebrity and speaker, bestselling author, Contributing Editor and Host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett on Bloomberg Television. He is the CEO of The Hayzlett Group, an international strategic business consulting company focused on leading change and developing high growth companies. Connect with Hayzlett on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or email.