Buffett’s Loss; Whoopie’s Support; Employee Happiness; Barcelona in Summer
March 31, 2011
April 18 Cut-off; Josh Bernoff; What Every Sales Person Should Have
April 14, 2011

5 Strategic Blunders; Rackspace’s Strategy; Butler’s Strategy; Russian Strategy

New Page 2

"…keeping you great"


5 Strategic Blunders – my latest Fortune "Venture" column is out on the newsstands (April 11 edition) and online. See how Randy Cohen, TicketCity; Roger Hardy, Coastal Contacts; Doug Schukar, USA Mortgage; and Tony Petrucciani, Single Source Systems avoided five strategic mistakes companies make. There are still 3 quarters left in 2011 to course correct! Please take three minutes to read their valuable lessons – and review at your next weekly or monthly meeting. Play to Win!

Rackspace's Winning Strategy – with their stock and market cap (just over $5 billion) going through the roof, Rackspace is one of the hottest companies on Wall Street. CNN interviewed Lanham Napier, Rackspace CEO, on their strategy moving forward – and the importance of remaining agile. Take 3 minutes to watch a real pro in action – and then come meet his co-founder and Chairman, Graham Weston, who will share the keys to their rapid growth, in more depth, at our upcoming Fortune Leadership Summit, May 10 – 11, Houston.

Strategies Coming True – Congratulations to Naomi Simson and her team with Australia-based RedBalloon for reaching their 1 million milestone. Several years ago, having sold roughly 7500 "experiences," Naomi set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of selling 2 million, representing 10% of Australia's population. Well, they just hit the halfway mark, noting the success with this picture of their huge scoreboard that updates in real time – the precise time being 11:22am on the 1st of April – April Fool's Day! And to add romance to the date, they achieved this milestone exactly 10 years from the date of their first marketing plan – 1st April 2001 – I love when the stars magically align.

Butler's Single-Minded Strategy – I couldn't help but get caught up in the NCAA College Basketball Final Four tournament, especially given the record setting performance of two underdog teams. In a lesson for ALL growth firms, read the first and then last two paragraphs of this summary of Butler's win over VCU – in essence Butler had one strategy going into the game – allow zero fast break points – and they did it and won. Have you stated your focus this simply in 2011? Again, you still have 3 quarters left to course correct or further clarify your strategy. And sometimes the big bully, throwing their weight around, wins in the end (something Rackspace hopes to avoid) – as UConn went on to stifle Butler in the final. Lessons for all of us.

Business Model = Strategy – Alexander Osterwalder's Business Model Generation book continues to dominate book rankings globally, providing simple, tested tools, for understanding, designing, reworking, and implementing business models. It's the business model part of strategy that takes the most thinking and creativity. And he's keynoting our two European Growth Summits 17th May Barcelona; 18th May Amsterdam.

Russian Strategy – and I just returned from Moscow where I hosted my two-day Rockefeller Habits workshop and participated in the release of my book in Russian. It was an impressive group of top entrepreneurs from all over Russia – and half the audience was women – they are helping build some great companies. More later.

How to Track Your Strategy — Cascading Priorities and Metrics — to take a load off your brains and make your weekly management meeting much more effective, 3 years ago we launched Rhythm software that helps you track (using a Red, Yellow, Green, SuperGreen scale) all the cascading priorities and metrics within your business (so you can know where your team is "stuck" and make critical adjustments immediately). We've just released Version 7.0 and are hosting a Private Webcast on Wednesday, April 13th at 1:00pm EST for those that want to see a demo. It's best for companies greater than $10 million in revenue. To Register or email/call Deb Colson [email protected] 704-728-1701.

Jorge Partidas, CEO of WAU Movil, the largest mobile integrator in Latin America, has been using our Rhythm system to drive his firm. As a preview, here are Partidas's thoughts in this 3 minute video.

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.