How A Once-Sleepy Company Launched A Successful Scale-Up—And Got Acquired By A Goliath
February 2, 2016
Super Bowl Lessons; Visioneer Movie; Pal’s Crushes It; Top 16 for 2016
February 11, 2016

Alphabet; Originals; #1 Routine; Batch Balance Backbone; Veritaaq

"…insights for scale-ups"


Google/Alphabet Passes Apple — there's a new sheriff in town. Alphabet/Google is now the largest market cap company in the world. And my bet that Microsoft's market cap will exceed Apple's by June 2017 made great progress last year. Apple lost $100 billion and Microsoft gained $100 billion – with just $100 billion separating them now. Fun (and possibly useless) facts – but maybe good for cocktail conversations (beats politics).

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World likely one of the most talked about books in 2016 was released this week. This is Adam Grant's (author of Give and Take) latest book. Notes Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg in her Foreword:

He (Grant) reveals how we can identify ideas that are truly original and predict which ones will work. He tells us when to trust our gut and when to rely on others. He shows how we can become better parents by nurturing originality in our children and better managers by fostering diversity of thought instead of conformity.

I'm halfway through the book and there is a bunch of practical ideas applicable to biz leaders and entrepreneurs (those that keep their day-jobs while launching a venture are 33% less likely to fail, for instance). This is one of the books to read as a leader and parent. And we're working with Adam to get him to a Summit.

Deep Work — if you only read one article this week, dig into Cal Newport's piece on Adam Grant. Author of another huge hit already in 2016, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Georgetown University's Newport concludes that the key to peak productivity is batching. There is no way around it – you have to find chunks of uninterrupted time to work on important things. This is THE routine that sets you free. 90 minutes here and there is key. John D. Rockefeller set aside several hours each morning. Others take a day-a-week or 90 minutes each day. For Grant, he only lectures one semester, so he can focus on his teaching – and he's the top rated teacher at Wharton. Then he takes the other semester to research/write – and he became the youngest tenured professor in history. Take 2 minutes to read this article. BTW, Newport is keynoting our fall Summit (Oct 25 – 26, Dallas).

Batch, Balance, Backbone — two decades ago the first "book" I wrote and recorded was titled Controlling Interruptions. There are still audiotape copies available via Amazon. Back then I concluded that the only way to be successful and get lots accomplished was to Batch together like activities (do all your meetings back-to-back – what we still recommend today); Balance that with pure open, interruptible time (only certain "open door" hours); and then have the Backbone to defend your schedule. The analogy I used was a surgeon. Each day they schedule uninterrupted time for surgery – normally early in the morning when they are sharpest – then it's "hospital rounds" and appointments afterwards. Likewise, all of us need surgery time each day – to accomplish the big things – then we are free the rest of the day to fight fires. So, you can learn all you want – but you (or your children) won't become Olympic athletes, leaders in your profession, or write a book if you don't find uninterrupted time each week to pursue Deep Work!

Quadrupled to $106 Million (Gazelles case study) — my Huffington Post piece this week features Veritaaq, an IT consulting company headquartered in Ottawa, which quadrupled its revenue since 2007 to $106 million. Prior to that, it took 24 years to get to $22 million. And to celebrate growing 26% with a profit increase of 38% in 2015, the company sent 100 employees and spouses on a trip to Jamaica. The key to their success was changing their sales approach after the recession, with the help of Gazelles coach Les Rubenovitch. Noted Les:

With everyone beginning to see an increase in their stats, and able to track exactly how they measured up to their own targets, to their colleagues, and to the industry, employee engagement and productivity flourished.

Yet the transition didn't come without some pain, including the loss of a star sales person. Noted Paul Genier, President:

"We knew if we held to our guns on this we would risk losing him," says Genier. "We felt if we could get everyone else performing at a higher level, that would make up for it."

Take 2 minutes to scan down through the article for the specifics – especially if you need to boost revenues in 2016.


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.

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


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.

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.