Coach John Wooden; Cyberattack Update; 7 Lessons Learned; Job Scorecard Sample
November 3, 2016
Year-end Negotiations; Why Trump Won; Social Selling; Microsoft’s CEO; CEO Boot Camp 1 Seat
November 17, 2016

Business Person of the Year; Bone-Based Kayaks; Better Corp. Flooring; Geoversity Feb 7 – 12

"…insights for scaleups"


Biomimicry will be the business of the twenty-first century.
  Jay Harman

Fortune's Business Person of the Year is more below, but first…

Bone-Based Kayaks want to build a kayak with less mass? Dana Seero, President of CAPINC, used a program based on how our body layers on bone. As you'll see in Dana's video, the suggested structural pieces look like bones. Go to 2:39 in the video to see the software rending the parts – then Dana's firm used 3D printing to manufacture the supports. Go to 3:07 to see the full transformation from "bones" to parts – and as Dana states, the results look logical, in hindsight, but not obvious. At 3:47 the video shows the transformation from the standard "stick" approach to something more organic. This is the power of what is called biomimicry – using what nature has to teach us to design better products, services, and organizations.

Biomimicry Expert serial entrepreneur Jay Harman, author of The Shark's Paintbrush, electrified our Fortune Summit audience as he shared how leading edge firms, including his, are taking clues from nature to build next-generation products and businesses. For instance, huge municipal water tanks require massive chemicals to keep the water safe, yet with a mixer designed to mimic nature, a small "lily" consuming the electricity of 3 light bulbs can successfully keep 10 million gallons circulating and thus dramatically reduce the amount of chemicals needed.

Better Office Flooring taking a clue from nature's "flooring" (sand, leaves, rocks, etc.), the i2 carpet tile system allows tiles to be installed in any order and orientation, reducing installation time. This also means you can replace individual "random" tiles at any time without worrying about a perfect match (lot runs, dyes, fading, etc.). All of this saves you money, time, and waste. In addition, simply putting pictures of nature on the walls reduces stress and increases happiness/productivity.

3.8 Billion Years as biomimicry expert Janine Benyus notes, nature has been around a lot longer than humans and has figured out how to adapt and survive in ways that take considerably less resources and lower energy. Take a spider's web, 3 times stronger than steel. Humans use lots of pressure, heat, and force to make steel. Spiders, low pressure and water. Watch this video with your team (and family), going to 9:43 to see how students at Caltech have studied the movement of a school of fish to create wind farms 10x more efficient than what we have today. At 16:11 you'll learn about self-cleaning surfaces based on what is called the lotus effect, named after the lotus leaf. Companies are now producing paints, roof tiles, and coatings that mimic this effect to save billions in time and chemicals in keeping surfaces clean. The video is full of these practical examples which will stimulate your thinking about how nature can inform your company.

Geoversity a unique 5-day Singularity U-like executive program, featuring Jay Harman and other top thinkers from Fortune, Harvard, Gehry, etc. is being hosted in Panama Feb 7 – 12. I'm co-chairing this program bringing together 40 leaders (already signed up includes the YPOer and CEO of Copa Airlines) to interact and immerse themselves in practical ways to apply nature's wisdom to office design, service delivery, organizational structure, teamwork, and product development. Apply here.

Business Person of the Year (3 Pillars of Success) and this person is using biomimicry principles to design his new headquarters – Mark Zuckerberg. Only 32 years old, he's built Facebook into a $375 billion worth company with $22 billion in profit and 1.8 billion users (that's a lot of billions). Take 7 minutes to watch (2 minutes) and read (5 minutes) this Fortune article titled "How to Lead Like Zuck." Again, two words are associated with Mark – focused and disciplined. Notes Adam Lashinsky:

An examination of Zuckerberg's management approach reveals that his success rests on three pillars: his unique ability to look into the future, his otherworldly consistency, and the business discipline he has nurtured in an industry quite often enamored of bright, shiny objects.

Further notes Lashinsky:

Facebook's CEO attributes his management technique to his training as an engineer. "For me engineering comes down to two real principles," he told a group of Nigerian software developers this summer. The "engineering mind-set," he said, dictates thinking "of every problem as a system" and breaking down problems "from the biggest stage down to smaller pieces."

I'm only scratching the surface of this article. Take time this weekend to absorb what one of Fortune's best writers has extracted as important lessons from the Business Person of the Year.

ScaleUpU Launches Next Week our plan to bring scaleup eco-systems to 150 cities around the globe kicks off next week in Kansas City with the Kauffman Foundation during Global Entrepreneurship Week. We're looking for successful entrepreneurs who have deep connections (media, mayor, etc.) who would like to lead this initiative in their city. We already have leaders in cities ranging from Taipei to Moscow to Amsterdam to Raleigh – over a dozen coming on board in the next 12 months. Let me know [email protected]


Have you ever wondered if working with a coach might accelerate your company's growth, exponentially? Do you have what it takes to move the dial from good to great? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please go to for more information. If you determine that we're a fit and wish to join our premier organization, we invite you to contact our Dir. of Coach Engagement at [email protected] or 877.217.2253 ext.700.


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

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.