The B-Word; The New B; The Bad B; Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters
September 17, 2015
How a Solar Company Climbed off the Cliff’s Edge and Found New Ways to Scale
September 30, 2015

Apple Store Best Practices; Near Miss 9/11; Entrepreneurs’ Manifesto; ZogSports

"…insights for scaleups"

HEADLINES: (Huffington Post piece?)

The more technologically advanced our society becomes, the more we need to go back to the basic fundamentals of human communication.
  Angela Ahrendts, Apple

New Best Practices at the Apple Store — Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of Burberry, has been running Apple's stores since May 2014 (and compensated almost $74 million). With over 60% of Apple's employees working in these stores, she has chosen to focus on the people side vs. the product side. This Fortune article details why Tim Cook chose her (some excellent insights into hiring top execs and the mistakes to avoid); how she has spent her first year; and some of the routines (you might initiate) she's added to the stores. Notes Fortune:

One of the first things Ahrendts did was institute a now-weekly video communication in which she lays out the game plan. It may seem small, but every Apple store employee I spoke with cited it as a welcome change. The video is a combination pep rally and strategy session, with three key thoughts expressed in a few minutes.

In addition:

…to better understand retail staffers' perspectives, Ahrendts launched Share Your Ideas, an internal app in which they can propose improvements or lodge complaints. (Apple had a process before, but it was mostly ad hoc and not widely used.) Ahrendts says she reads every comment, and within 48 hours someone from her team responds.

Ahrendts also brought the physical stores and online retail together under one team so there was a common customer experience. This article is worth the 3 minutes to pick up more tips on how a new executive makes an impact to an already successful store and brand.

Are Your Online Customers Walking Away? — Speaking of customer service, your website is like a store. If there are no sales people to help your online customers, they will walk away to a competitor. LiveAdmins, which Gazelles uses, helps businesses proactively greet online customers and engage them in conversation, providing multilingual chat services round the clock, ensuring needs of all visitors are taken care of. Like Ahrendts suggests in the quote above, it's the human connection that matters and this service has helped companies across all industries significantly increase sales and enhance the visitor experience for over a decade.

Near Miss on 9/11 Launches Company (Gazelles case study) — Robert Herzog was supposed to be in the Twin Towers where 297 of his colleagues perished that day. From this experience he launched ZogSports which has recently expanded to 7 locations with 30 full time and 300 part time employees. My blog in yesterday's Huffington Post shares Rob's 9/11 experience and details how he let go of control and unleashed the growth of his firm – and the disciplines he put in place to allow this to happen. Please take 2 minutes to scan the article for specifics on how he improved his daily huddles, tightened up accountability, and put core values front and center in driving decisions. Thanks to their Gazelles coach Mark Green for bringing Rob's story to my attention.

An Entrepreneurs' Manifesto — this is the title of my dear friend Steve Mariotti's recently released book. Founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), his non-profit has helped over 600,000 young people in low-income communities throughout 10 countries. His beautifully written and highly informative book (every entrepreneur should have a feel for the data in this book) pulls together all the disparate research that shows how entrepreneurs are the economic and innovation engines of society – a must read for anyone trying to garner support for entrepreneurship in their communities. Notes Mariotti:

The most political act a person can ever do is to create a business. To become an entrepreneur has the power to revolutionize lives, rescue families, and forever change communities and countries. I hope you'll enjoy An Entrepreneur's Manifesto, and join the Entrepreneurship Revolution!

Two copies are being sent to GPro and book club members so you can share one with your mayor or university leader. Steve will also be in Dallas at the Growth Summit to sign books and share a few words from the stage. He's one of the true heroes of our time.


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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.