"…keeping you great"
Ideas for Developing Middle Management? — looking for examples of how you're developing/growing/supporting middle management for my next Fortune column, more details below, but first…
Happy Chinese New Year with Predictions — Doris Ingber, an expert in feng shui and 4 Pillars Analysis (a branch of Chinese astrology), says 2015 will be a year dominated by the economy. She goes on to predict what industries will thrive based on it being a "Wood Sheep" year (great time to be selling books, for instance). She also predicts what you shouldn't do! Here's a link to Fortune's article detailing Ingber's predictions.
The Absolute Best Customers to Have? — subscribers are better than customers, period. Amazon, Apple – and most companies worth a lot of money – have figured this out. Subscription-based businesses sell for 3 – 5 times revenue (yes, revenue, not EBIDTA) and they are more fun to operate once you get them going. Serial entrepreneur John Warrillow outlines how all companies in all industries can create this kind of recurring revenue stream business model using one or more of the nine approaches he's identified.
The Automatic Customer — this is the title of Warrillow's new book. Subtitled "Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry", grab a copy of the book and read the first page of Part One. Then go to the Table of Contents and scan down through "The Nine Subscription Business Models", pick one, and go right to that chapter. Typical of Warrillow, the book is easy and fun to read (he's such a great writer), and he doesn't waste a page. And his Introduction provides an excellent overview of the book. But you'll want to study this book. Then come meet Warrillow and hear him keynote our Leadership Summit in Orlando, May 12 – 13. My own prediction? This is the best – and most valuable — biz book that will be released in 2015 – and it's only February. GPro and book club members will get a copy next week.
Speaking of Books/Authors — Looking for a ghostwriter? One of the best just became available – he's top dollar but the right writer/editor if you want to create a first class book as a marketing/branding tool for your business. Email me at [email protected] and I'll make an introduction (no commission in the deal – just like to see great books written!).
7 Worthwhile Emerging Markets — thinking of expanding internationally? For the last decade, all the rage was the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – according to Goldman Sachs. And it's been a good run. But three of those four aren't doing so hot. So which countries look good the next five years? Notes Ian Bremmer in this Fortune article:
The seven: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Colombia, Poland, and Kenya. Take four minutes to read the details and analysis behind this decision – one Fortune doesn't take lightly. For Gazelles, we're active in six of the seven and focused on substantially growing our business in five of them. If growth companies are leading indicators of economic vitality, we are seeing the same trends as Fortune.
For More on India — this NY Times article from yesterday details more completely the growth opportunities (and continued infrastructure and regulatory challenges) in India. I remain bullish on India in the long, long run. The largest English speaking democracy with a young, wicked smart population, has the right components to be an economic juggernaut.
Most Promising Company — speaking of India, congratulations to long-time client Ashiana Housing for being named "The Most Promising Company This Decade" by CNBC during the Good Governance Conference. This is a very prestigious award in India and is based on both their financial performance (24,000 percent return the last ten years) and their positive impact on providing housing for seniors. Notes Ankur Gupta, Joint Managing Director, "We could not have done this without all the processes and systems (Gazelles) has given our company — and most importantly the discipline." Here's a link to a 2 minute video of the award presentation (in Hindi).
Mumbai Feb 27 — FYI, I'll be leading a one-day "Winning Growth Strategies" workshop in Mumbai next Friday where I'll share the tools and techniques Ashiana Housing, Benetton India (#1 fashion brand), and other Gazelles clients are using to dominate their industries in India.
Stories for Next Fortune Column — looking for ideas on how companies are strengthening their "core" — talent at the middle rungs of your organization. What kinds of training, coaching, and routines are you using to support a strong mid-management team? How involved is your senior team in the process? Any specific assessments or recruiting approaches used in deciding who to promote or hire as a manager? What activities, like setting quarterly themes or handling employee/customer suggestions, are you delegating to middle management? And is anyone using the Hershey-Blanchard Situational Leadership model of coaching? How are you managing contingent workers who have become flexible members of your mid-level teams? Please include the name of your company, the city where it is located, and the number of employees. I can accept suggestions until next week – [email protected] – thanks.
Better Book Club — What's your team reading? Increase your books read per team member. Easy, Proven, and in the Cloud at http://www.BetterBookClub.com.
Align Dashboard — Want to keep track of your plans and progress in the cloud? The complete Growth Tools and Rockefeller Habits disciplines in a SaaS offering.