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#1 Millennial Firm; Lessons Top Turnaround; Unlocking Cash; Satisfactorily Underperforming?

"…insights for scaleups"


Who needs a turnaround? Companies in serious trouble and companies seemingly doing just fine, even though they should be doing far better. We call these "satisfactorily underperforming" businesses.
  Greg Brenneman, Turnworks

Elite SEM #1 Best Place to Work for Millennials — more below, but first…

Right Now and All at Once — this is the mantra of the top turnaround biz leader in the world, Greg Brenneman, who turned around Continental Airlines, PwC (turned around in 3 weeks and sold for $4 billion), Home Depot, and dozens of other firms as part of his $8 billion private equity firm. It's also the title of what will clearly be one of the best business books of 2016. Subtitled 5 Steps to Transform Your Business and Enrich Your Life, GPro and book club members will receive a copy next week. Greg is also the opening keynote for our fall Growth Summit Oct 25 – 26, Dallas.

Simple Turnaround Test — Notes Brenneman:

In my CEO days, I had a very simple test I used to determine whether I should take any job offered me. I asked myself, "Can I sit down and, on one piece of paper, write a plan to turn around this company and grow it? I divided a single piece of paper into four columns. At the top, I wrote "Market," "Financial," "Product," and "People." Then under each of those headings, I wrote down the key actions I thought the company had to take.

His book outlines his simple one-page analysis and process (though nothing simple about figuring out the value drivers).

Driving Revenues — I really like his emphasis on identifying how to drive sales. He goes on to note:

Empirical evidence shows that you get at least four times the market value for a dollar of profit that comes from revenue growth versus a dollar of profit that comes from cost reduction.

He discusses how to drive revenues in the chapter titled "Think Money In, Not Money Out." Might be worth going right to that chapter. However, it's one of the rare biz books I've read cover-to-cover twice (and will read again). There's a reason we're opening with Greg in the fall – see you and your team at the Growth Summit. This is the one of the savviest biz leaders in the world.

Elite SEM Named #1… Best Place to Work for Millennials of the Top 100 chosen by Fortune (91% of their 140 employees are millennials). An active Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) practitioner, I just wrote about their communication rhythm in Huffington Post. Part of the key to their success, notes Fortune:

Morrison meets with every employee a month or two after they start and asks the same questions: what they liked or hated about their old company, what Elite is doing right and how management can improve. Kirshner and Morrison also do this periodically for long-tenured employees, allowing them to blend feedback from new and old workers.

Take 2 minutes to read the Fortune article on how they've become a great place to work for millennials. Congrats to Ben Kirshner (CEO), Zach Morrison (COO), and the rest of their team.

Prime Data Unlocks Cash to Scale 10x (Gazelles Case Study) — my latest Huffington Post piece features how five years ago marketing tech firm Prime Data had five employees, with growth constrained by cash flow. Today, it has 50. Using several strategies, the company reduced invoices stretched out to 90 days by 92%, freeing the substantial cash needed to scale up. Asking for advance payments was one way. Notes Steve Falk, CEO:

I was old school. If someone wants to do business with you, the last thing you want to bring up is to ask them to pay you advance.

However, he did ask and several, including a non-profit, agreed to pay a $100,000 retainer upfront. Read how and why – plus other strategies Falk's team used to speed up cash flow.

Satisfactorily Underperforming? — it doesn't have to be that way, let us help.


Have you ever wondered if your company would be a good candidate to work with an executive growth coach? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please contact Jean Carpenter at [email protected] / (360) 798.9471.


Align Software puts everyone on the Same Page – Literally! See, in real time every person in your organization and how they are progressing on their priorities – alongside how they Align to the Company Priorities! Scale Up your Rockefeller Habits implementation with – on your computer and on your phone.

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Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.