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APEX on The Globe and Mail's Top 400 Growing Companies

Seven key lessons for high growth

After 21 years and hundreds of awards, to be recognized as one of ROB Canada’s Top 400 Growing Companies, is particularly meaningful to us. But it doesn’t stop there, to continue to be diversifying as a company and to still be Canadian owner-operated, is fundamental to our team of practitioners and to our clients – fostering even more growth.

And, our lessons for growth are ones that we apply every day to our clients – from major brands to start-ups.

Like many great agencies, we have extensive experience across multiple categories. We are committed to diverse work that breaks new ground – driving our clients’ businesses and reputations forward.

But, it’s values-driven communications embedded within the culture that we believe fosters this growth for any organization.

These values are our 7 key lessons for high-growth organizations:

  1. Be practitioners first. No matter what type of business you’re in, as a leader, how will you lead without understanding what happens on the front lines? We are what we call a working shop. Both of us consult, working both in and on our business. As leaders, this keeps us on top of our games and fosters trust.

  2. Remain curious and opinionated. No company has ever captured attention by doing it the ‘same way we’ve always done it.’ That’s why we are not yes people. We are genuinely interested in our clients’ businesses and how we can move the needle for them. By fostering an environment that invites differing opinions, leaders help everyone to up their games.

  3. Identify as a risk taker. This is the next step to being curious and opinionated, because many times what you discover will force you into new, unexplored territory. We embrace the uncomfortable…the unknown. It’s really the most powerful way to learn, innovate and self-motivate.

  4. Embrace agility. News, information and technology is lightning fast. Yet, our proprietary research of Canadian senior marketers shows that 53 per cent have not changed their marketing approach in the last few years. The evolving environment is a constant and the only way to thrive is by making change your ally.

  5. Maintain generosity. The best communicators know that communication is more than just words. The expression that ‘they may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel’ holds true in everything we do as leaders. We believe in giving back to our colleagues, our industry and our community with our time, our thinking and even our cash.

  6. Walk the talk. This lesson applies to all aspects of life, but as professionals means you’ll likely have mediocre or underperforming teams when it’s not present. For us it is by being key opinion leaders within our industry – through our research or The Pivot Podcast – where we delve into the finer workings of our diversified and changing profession. As a leader in your industry, how are you walking the talk?

  7. Be good people. Full stop.

Linda Andross and Ken Evans are managing partners of APEX PR and ruckus Digital, and identify as entrepreneurs 2.0.

Interested in chatting about how to apply our lessons for high growth to your business? Drop us a line:


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