Apple’s Tribute to Steve Jobs – and Some Lesssons
October 5, 2012
1 billion women; Jack Welch tweet; Core values poem; The Commitment Engine
October 11, 2012

Avoid Burnout; Brad Feld’s New Book; Key to 2013; Rockefeller Habits workshops

"…out-learning the competition"


5 Ways to Avoid Burnout — my latest Fortune Venture column is online – take three minutes to click through five ideas for recharging your batteries – and please provide some more intelligent comments/feedback!! Thanks to Dave McLurg, Dale Donat, Paul Berman, and David Meerman Scott for contributing ideas – hopefully one of their ideas re-energizes you.

Key to a great 2013 — As you prepare for annual planning – join Patrick Thean, CEO of Gazelles Systems, for his webcast "Is Your Annual Plan Helping You Double Your Business?" A good annual plan identifies the 3-5 things to focus on for the year; a great annual plan helps you focus on the year AND drive your long term strategy. October 18th @ 1:00pm ET.

Start-up Communities — this is the title of Brad Feld's new book out today. A well-known venture capitalist and co-founder of the innovative TechStars incubator process (plus author of a killer blog), Brad is leading a revolution in building entrepreneurial ecosystems in communities around the world. This is a critical activity in revitalizing economies globally and something worthwhile for all growth firms to be involved with locally.

Employee Engagement – Need Ideas for Next Column — Recent research shows that employee enthusiasm and engagement are at record lows. For an upcoming Fortune column, I am looking for anecdotes about how you keep employees excited about your company, even if you have asked them to do more and have not been able to offer big pay raises since the recession. How are you beating the odds and keeping them motivated? I'm looking for sustainable strategies, as opposed to fun, one-time gimmicks. Please let me know where your company is based, how many employees you have, and your revenues. Email me at [email protected] and garner some publicity for you and your firm.

Level One Thinking — Vijay Govindarajan, author of Reverse Innovation (keynoting the upcoming Fortune Growth Summit), recently did a survey of executives on their attitudes toward global business – poor vs. rich countries. Here are the levels of thinking. I'm concerned that most US growth firms are stuck in level one thinking, at their peril (the Dutch have always been Level 5):

Level One Thinking. Only the rich world matters. Poor countries are too poor to be worth thinking about.

Level Two Thinking. In poor countries, there is an opportunity to sell our offerings at the top of the economic pyramid. This market will slowly expand, as poor nations get richer.

Level Three Thinking. Emerging-market customers have different needs. We will have to customize our existing products and services.

Level Four Thinking. Emerging-market customers have vastly different needs. To capture the opportunity, we will have to design new products and services from scratch.

Level Five Thinking. The stakes are global, not local. Market leadership in poor countries will be a prerequisite to continued vitality in rich ones.

Two-Thirds GDP — in turn, these "poor" countries (Martin Sorrell prefers to call them "growth countries") are likely to account for at least two-thirds of world GDP growth for decades to come. It's a huge opportunity, but, according to Vijay "will not be easy for companies with rich-world legacies to capture." In Reverse Innovation, Vijay outline steps companies can take to move to Level Five Thinking, which is why we're hosting him in Phoenix Oct 23 – 24. See you there.

Wilmington, Baton Rouge, Manchester, Austin — fall is a great time to tune-up your Rockefeller Habits and prepare for 2013. these are the locations for the October Rockefeller Habits one-day workshops. Wilmington, Oct 11; Baton Rouge, Oct 18; Manchester, NH, Oct 18; and Austin Oct 30. For more info.

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.