1st Book 2012; Jack Daniel’s Magic; 4 Key Questions; Healthcare Cost ideas
January 5, 2012
Last Insight; Undercover Boss Dina Dwyer; SOPA
January 19, 2012

Exactly 100%; 50% First Day; 1 Priority For Year; Fortune Leadership Summit Agenda

"…keeping you great"


Fortune Leadership Summit Agenda Published — with just one more celebrity CEO slot to fill (invitations out), the agenda for the May 15 – 16, Atlanta, FORTUNE Leadership Summit is complete – Jim Collins, Jim Stengel, Brad Hams, Brian Souza, and Kevin Daum – authors of a dozen important books combined. Just $250 deposit per seat required — earliest and biggest teams to put down a deposit get the best seats for the event as always. This mini Think Week helps you "out-learn" the competition!

Exactly 100% — a large Canadian law firm (the lawyers' lawyers didn't want us to mention their name!) set a 4th quarter goal to open 600 new client files. With a theme "600 to Summit", their Gazelles coach Trevor Throness, Strategy for Business, noted "I was there last week as we reviewed the last quarter, and I asked about the theme results (Trevor had brought the law firm CEO to the Growth Summit where he got excited about launching a theme). They opened 600 files on the nose, exactly, for the quarter. Not 598, not 604. I thought it was fascinating that obviously folks did what they had to do to win the game." Here's a link to some photos that show their scoreboard and some of the theme related items they used throughout the quarter to remind their staff of the #1 priority. What is your theme/priority for this quarter/year?

50% Improvement First Day — Jim Tobin's company, Research Triangle, NC-based Ignite Social Media, achieved a 50% improvement of its critical number, unassigned tasks, in one day! That's the power of focusing on just one priority. Jim brought his team to the mid-November Rockefeller Habits workshop. Rather than wait until 2012, they announced a priority Thursday, Dec 1 (why wait to start!) comprised of two metrics: one improved 20% the first day; the other over 50%. Here's a Picture.

Nothing Fancy – Just Do It — notes Jim "Basically, we grew from 35 people to 75 people in 2 months. So when we asked ourselves your question of 'What one thing should we work on in the next 90 days to be a better company,' it was 'Getting everyone on the same page in terms of what needs to be done and how we do it.' We then asked ourselves your second question, 'How will we know if we've done that? What can we measure that shows us we're on the same page?' And we knew we had this project management system that we're supposed to live in (and we do) and we knew we had gotten sloppy with making sure it could be 100% trusted. So we decided to track late tasks because those are evil in our business and I know they're rare, but our system made them look common. And then we added unassigned tasks, because how can a task assigned to nobody ever get done?" How did Jim execute? A simple email announcing the daily results and updating a white board – nothing fancy, but it works!!! Here's his email:

From: Tobin, Jim
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 9:58 AM
To: Ignite NC 365; Ignite MI 365
Subject: RE: New corporate goal
Importance: High

Nice job folks, we've significantly cut both the late tasks and the unassigned tasks in just the first day.

Late tasks: Were 241. Now 193 (down about 20%)
Unassigned tasks: Were 728. Now
353 (less than ½!).

Keep up the good work. Another update coming tomorrow.

Author of the book, "Social Media is a Cocktail Party: Why You Already Know the Rules of Social Media Marketing"

One Personal Priority for 2012? — after hearing one of our pastor's, Jim Chandler, this past Sunday talk about the importance of a single priority for the year (the family tunes in online from Barcelona), we sat down and updated our individual vision boards. Only this time, rather than create a collage of images, each of the family members chose a single theme for the year and found one image to represent that theme i.e. our oldest son Cameron chose "Learning Mandarin" and picked a hilarious image which he's posted above his study desk. Looking back over our past vision boards, we realized we had each achieved only one of our "visions" anyway, so why over commit.

Experiences vs. Stuff — and this heartwarming note from Jamie Birch, CFO of Nurse Next Door, "Janice and I took an insight you shared at our annual conference and used it this Christmas with the kids. You said you and your wife were changing the focus to 'experiences, not things' with your kids. We tried it with our gifts this year and it went over smashingly!"

Even Works with 6 Year Olds! — Jamie continues "The kids each got a hand written card from Janice and I with some money to start a bank account and a recreation pass for the local pool. They got to take their certificate to the pool and get their first rec ID card (they all decided to do funny faces for the picture – they had a ball) and then we went to the bank and opened up their first account and got them each a debit card and PIN # so they can use it (even for the 6 year old twins – they cannot stop saying the PIN numbers so they won't forget it – hilarious). Although it wasn't a trip skiing or a charitable deed (both of which are on the horizon), the "experience" part of these gifts were the highlight of Christmas and was fun for both us and the kids! And we didn't even have to wrap a single gift – Santa doesn't wrap – so the environment also won in a very small way…"

Speaking of Experiences — Barcelona won again the top spot for "Quality of Life" in the 22nd edition of the European Cities Monitor published by Cushman & Wakefield. And it received 2nd place in the "Familiarity with Cities as a Business Location." Think about spending a year in Barcelona learning Spanish – the ex-pat community is fabulous. Or a few weeks this summer. Or at least visit – we would love to host you for dinner with our family.

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.