Mark Cuban Event; 5 Bottlenecks; Female Founders; Kenya Entrepreneurs
July 30, 2015
Donald Trump; Google’s CEO; Leaders Lie; Free Viewing Aug 19
August 13, 2015

4x Productivity; Nature’s Roll in Business; Sir Martin Sorrell’s Insights; Aust/NZ Tour

"…insights for scaleups"


The Nature of Business — my latest Fortune column taps into a fast moving trend, sharing lessons from Mother Nature that can help us build better businesses. The five ways:

  1. Lower healthcare costs
  2. Clear air; clear mind
  3. Adapt to survive
  4. New organizational structures
  5. Biomimicry in office design

Please take 1 minute to scan through the details. We'll be writing a more extensive article given the huge response from many of you with ideas. Thank you to Kelly Terrien, CEO of Summit Technology Solutions; Anne-Marie Faiola, CEO of Bramble Berry; and Rachel Ross, VP of Mandala Homes, for sharing their specific examples for this column.

Twice the Work in Half the Time — this is the subtitle of Jeff Sutherland's award-winning book titled Scrum. Co-creator of the well-known scrum methodology most tech firms use to efficiently create robust software, Sutherland shows how these same practical principles can adapt to the entire company to help you power a 4x gain in productivity. Many of the ideas mirror the Rockefeller Habits 2.0, like the importance of daily huddles – yet it's worthwhile to get a different spin and additional company examples and approaches. First read the short (1 minute) Preface to the book, then decide if you should read the rest (you will!). Sutherland is keynoting our upcoming Growth Summit Oct 20 – 21, Dallas; and GPro and book club members will be receiving a copy of his book.

Sir Martin Sorrell's Insights — as CEO of WPP, the world's largest advertising and communications firm, Sorrell sits in a unique place to see trends and access insights through data that is likely more accurate and useful than any government data you're going to read. And Sorrell's firm knows how to package that information. In what Norman Pearlstine (an icon in the media world) considers the best annual report he's ever read, WPP's 250 page publication is both a work of art and well written. This short (1 minute) Fortune article provides a quick overview.

Four Strategic Objectives Sorrell's 6 minute video overview of WPP's Annual 2014 Report provides a superb example of how to clearly communicate a set of strategic objectives (3-5 Year Key Thrusts/Capabilities on the One-Page Strategic Plan) and differentiators. How clear are you in stating your strategic objectives? WPP's four:

  1. New Media
  2. New Markets
  3. Data Investment Management
  4. Horizontality

Sorrell goes on to provide specific data and examples that show WPP is making real progress in all four areas. I'm surprised he's blinking so much in the video (usually a sign of nerves), but his clarity and specificity is worth studying. Go right to :39 of the six minute video for details – and notice how the video has "dots" to help you navigate right to each key segment of this short message. As leaders, we all need to be producing more video like this – present company included.

Content is King — Sorrell's Letter to Shareholders — of the 250 pages, Sorrell's CEO Report is worth scanning through. It proves that the best way to sell is to educate. It's a highly informative letter full of graphs/charts (my favorite is the "Media Time Spent vs. Ad Spend" chart) and lists (the 10 Ten Trends at the end is worth the read) which all point to the importance of marketing if you want to scale your own business (I agree) – and thus the need for WPP's services! But it's NOT a sales pitch letter – its solid content. And, again, the navigation is easy, with a sub-list of the key points which remain to the left and highlight as you move down through the letter. If you only have 15 minutes to read/study something this week, this should be it.

Australia/New Zealand Tour — I'll be back on the road in a few weeks, leading one-day workshops in Auckland (Aug 31), Brisbane (Sept 1), Melbourne (Sept 2), and Sydney (Sept 3).

San Fran, LA, Toronto, Calgary and Paramaribo (Suriname) — and our Gazelles Coaching Partners are leading similar one-day workshops in these cities in September. There is always a list of all our workshops, with dates and links, at the bottom of the insights. These public workshops are a great way to jump start implementation of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0).


Interested in selecting a coach to help your company Scale Up? Check out this video explaining the "4+1 Rule of Thumb" for choosing the right coach.


Align Software runs your Rockefeller Habits in the cloud, anywhere, anytime! Have real time access to Huddles, Priorities, KPI's, Critical Numbers and more. Scale Up your Rockefeller Habits implementation with– on your computer and on your phone.

Better Book Club — What's your team reading? Increase your books read per team member. Easy, Proven, and in the Cloud at

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.