Inside Skype; Delivering Software Faster; VanBelle Nursery Theme; Australia Tour
July 22, 2011
The Future; 15 Best New Cities for Business; Summer Thriller
August 4, 2011

India Mimics Germany; Driving Sales in August; AirBNB Success; Doubling EBITDA

"…keeping you great"


To sustain high performance, organizations must build the capacity to learn and keep changing over time.
  Scott Keller and Colin Price, McKinsey

August is Best Month for Selling — more below, but first…

India Mimics Germany — one more reason I'm bullish on India and think every growth firm should find a way to do business with this Asian giant. Take 3 minutes and scan this Tuesday NY Times article on the surge in Indian exports – not of cheap trinkets and trash (the approach China took), but of high-value industrial goods that require highly skilled labor – the kind of quality jobs that drive a healthy economy. If only the US could wise up.

Renew Faster than Competitors — Patrick Lencioni, the famous author of Five Dysfunctions of a Team (read it once a year), was the first to clearly delineate the importance of a leadership team being both smart and healthy – healthy being the ability to work well together, trust each other, debate vigorously, and hold each other accountable. McKinsey's research builds on Lencioni's ideas, showing strong organization health literally doubles EBITDA margin and increases profit by 1.5 times.

How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage — this is the subtitle of McKinsey's new book entitled Beyond Performance. Authors Scott Keller and Colin Price note "our central message is that focusing on organizational health–the ability of your organization to align, execute, and renew itself faster than your competitors can–is just as important as focusing on the traditional drivers of business performance." I couldn't agree more. Here's a quick overview of the book (just have to register on the McKinsey website), though Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions framework is more useful in improving organizational health. Thank you to Dave Davis, President/CEO of OpenRDA, for pointing me to this research.

Latest Mesh Business — AirBNB just received $112 million in financing this week. What I love is the simply stated strategy — Airbnb is to spaces what eBay is to products. Read Ben Horowitz's blog on why his firm led this new round of investment. In turn, figure out ways you can let others use assets not needed fulltime by their owners — what are called mesh businesses, a name coined by Lisa Gansky, author of The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing, a book I recommended last fall when it came out – and still recommend.

August is the Best Month for Sales — precisely because business seems to slow down in August in the northern hemisphere is exactly why I find it's the easiest to reach decision makers. Most aren't on vacation the entire month, and those that are on vacation are often bored to tears looking for anyone to talk to about business (sorry family, but you can only take some much beach and pool time).

7 Tips To Boost Sales in August — this is a great time to review Caryn Kopp's article by the same title – it takes one minute to scan her 7 tips then make August your best lead generation month ever!!

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.