What is ExO Canvas? The 10 attributes of an exponential organization


In recent years the business world has seen the birth of a new generation of companies. They call themselves “exponential organizations” (ExO), and they have revolutionized the way to accelerate their growth. The key? The use of new technologies. These organizations create an impact 10 times greater than other companies in the same industry, and they do so with much less investment and staff. As a result of this, a tool called ExO Canvas has been created , do you want to know what it consists of? Keep reading!

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Index of contents

What is the ExO Canvas?

The acronym ExO refers to the term “Exponential Organizations” or “Exponential Organizations” . Therefore, the ExO Canvas is a tool that was born with the objective of designing and improving your Exponential Organization. Plus, it has a single page and is easy to use. 

The ExO Canvas will help you answer some questions, such as how flexible your company is, and will pave the way for you to finally become a flexible and agile ExO .

It does so through a management template that helps innovators, entrepreneurs, and senior executives to design agile businesses adapted to new exponentially accelerated technologies. With the ExO Canvas you can build an ExO framework for an existing or new company. Provides an overview of all the characteristics that make up an Exponential Organization.

Thanks to more than 100 professionals from various exponential organizations, the ExO Canvas tool has been created to help other entities adapt to external disruption, based on the abundance generated in each industry.  

The 10 attributes of an ExO

The ExO structure uses the Purpose Massively Transformer (PTM) as the basis. For a company to become an exponential organization, it must comply with the 10 ExO attributes , which can be measured with the ExO Canvas. They are divided into five external characteristics and five internal mechanisms. Or what is the same SCALE and IDEAS .


Staff on demand

To act quickly and flexibly in a rapidly changing world, ExOs prefer to rely on outside contractors. That is, outsource as many tasks as possible instead of keeping permanent full-time workers.

This enables companies to ensure a constant flow of new ideas and to fill the gaps only when needed. Having a large workforce delays and slows down the maneuverability of the organization.

We live in a new era in which the most modern companies look for employees who work for objectives and not for hours or office time. The trend is to replace employee templates with on-demand workers in service areas where technology has already transformed workflows.

Community & Crowd (Community and followers)

Build a community. Everything you do, do it in public . If you do it right, they will be the ones to come looking for you. The Internet has broken down barriers and made it possible for brands to create a community. Exponential organizations take advantage of this for functions previously found within companies. Some of these could be idea generation, financing, marketing, sales, etc. 

The digital communities have been created in the interests, beliefs and lifestyle of the members, among other variables.

To build a community you need to follow three steps. First of all, you must have a highly significant purpose. Second, take care of your community and dedicate time to it. Finally, it is important to create a platform to promote interaction and communication between them.

Algorithms (Algorithms)

Algorithms are essential. These organizations use data as the basis for scaling. If algorithms are already crucial in traditional businesses, in ExO organizations they are their reason for being. Business decisions in the future will be based on data , as they are more objective and flexible than people. 

Companies like Google, Airbnb, and DHL rely on algorithms that enable dynamic pricing, credit card fraud detection, traffic optimization, and much more. ExOs use machine learning technologies to refine these algorithms.

Leverage Assets

Exponential organizations cling to what is critical and irreplaceable. Everything else is outsourced . This point is similar to that of the staff. Flexibility is possible to preserve thanks to the lack of assets and not having to invest to generate properties. It optimizes flexibility and usability, as it also eliminates the need for staff to manage these assets. 

For this reason, ExOs prefer to rent assets and have supplier partners take responsibility and maintenance. The goal is not to own any assets, as they depreciate and become obsolete in the face of big changes.

Engagement (Commitment )

This point is closely related to generating community. The engagement is the result of a series of elements that encourage voluntary willingness to do something for others.

On the other hand, commitment can also be generated by the sense of belonging to a group or community. It consists, basically, in allowing and motivating the community around a company and facilitating them to interact with each other . Of course, always in a transparent, authentic way and with instant feedback. This generates more credibility and empowers the user in front of the organization.

An example of engagement is the UBER driver rating systems.


The Technological 1920s

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Interfaces (Interfaces)

Interfaces are algorithms and automated workflows that route SCALE points as efficiently as possible to the correct people within an organization.

They are tools that make it possible for companies to filter information and share a common language when they communicate. The interfaces are divided into two: internal and external . Internal are used to send instructions, while External establish information input methods.

The use of these tools has three great advantages. The first is that they reduce risks , since you exclude information that is not relevant to your organization. The second, that you improve efficiency when sending a message , since this filtered information will reach the people you want in the precise time. Third and last, interfaces will help you grow as a company .

This will become a reality thanks to the optimization of management through strategies. They will be a support when you need to focus on what is really important.


To track and monitor the performance of a company’s actions, all members of an organization must be able to access metrics in real time via Dashboards .

Today we consume an infinite amount of data . Therefore, it is necessary to be clear about which ones will help us meet our objectives. We can do this by analyzing large volumes of information and counting on real-time data. Dashboards will allow us to have instant results with which to make decisions.

Also, thanks to them, we will be able to know how close we are to meeting our KPIs , our Key Performance Indicators.


ExOs use methods that facilitate experimentation and process improvement through quick feedback loops. They are constantly designing new products or processes . They all start out as hypotheses that need to be tested before being put into operation on a large scale. These exams are done through experiments that allow them to be improved. The Lean Startup methodology is the most common.

Large companies proactively embrace experimentation within themselves. The objective? Finding a business opportunity or competitive advantage . But failures are not always badly received, as it would be delusional to think that all new projects will turn out well. However, it is true that the more experiments you start, the more likely you are to succeed.


In terms of autonomy, exponential organizations have flat hierarchies to facilitate agility and accelerate learning and reaction times. Autonomy supposes the self-organization of multidisciplinary teams that work with a decentralized authority. It facilitates the development of motivated and empowered people to innovate, even if the teams are spread across the world.

Far are the traditional organization charts as organizational structures. In many ExOs, job descriptions or lines of authority no longer exist . They are organized through multidisciplinary teams or according to functions or objectives.

Social Technologies

Social technologies are changing the way people collaborate through platforms for teamwork. This attribute is transforming the social dynamics of work environments, as work environments are increasingly digital .

Evolution began with the invention of email and intranets , which facilitated the dissemination of information between people who did not share space or time. Currently, the implementation of mechanisms that allow the community of employees, customers and suppliers, among others, to communicate and collaborate is viable . It is a very big advance when it comes to learning and making decisions, since it can be done much more quickly.

Some of the best known tools are: Dropbox, Google Drive and Skype , among many others. Remember that thanks to the ExO Canvas you can detect the deficiencies of these attributes in your organization.

Do you want to know more about exponential organizations and digital transformation? Train with us with the Master in Digital Business & Lean Startup , where you will learn to use new exponential technologies to identify opportunities to develop projects in an agile way. If you found an interesting article, comment and share!

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