6 Blunders; Global 500; #1 Skill; 1st Scaling Up User Conference
July 23, 2015
4x Productivity; Nature’s Roll in Business; Sir Martin Sorrell’s Insights; Aust/NZ Tour
August 6, 2015

Mark Cuban Event; 5 Bottlenecks; Female Founders; Kenya Entrepreneurs

"…insights for scaleups"


Mark Cuban Event (stay for Maverick's game) — the iconoclast entrepreneur, Shark Tank judge, sports team owner, and author of How to Win at the Sport of Business (excellent and quick read) just confirmed he'll be the closing Wednesday keynote for our Growth Summit Oct 20 – 21 in Dallas. Then plan to stay for the game Wed. evening Oct 21 (tickets included in registration) – important details below so you can make additional flight and hotel arrangements.

5 Industry Bottlenecks to Break — in one of the most insightful HBR articles written in 2016, five general industry bottlenecks (constraints) are detailed along with specific examples of companies like Bonobos that have changed the game in their industry. This article provides some additional thought tools and important questions for finding the X Factor – that 10 – 100x advantage over the competition outlined in Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0). The 5 bottlenecks:

  1. An outdated customer experience
  2. Superfluous expense categories
  3. Customer-borne risk
  4. Disengaged employees
  5. Negative externalities

Key Questions — I realize this list is tough to comprehend without the examples, so take 3 minutes to scan the HBR article which includes a chart listing a set of key questions for each bottleneck. Then discuss this important article during your next several "council" meetings. All you have to do is identify and "change the game" in ONE of these areas. FYI, you'll recognize two of the authors – Barrett Ersek, founder of Holganix and a regular Growth Summit attendee; and John Mullins, serial entrepreneur and author of several of my favorite biz books including The Customer Funded Business which I named one of the best biz books of 2014. He's keynoting the upcoming Growth Summit along with Mark Cuban.

Female Founders Outperform — well-known Silicon Valley VC firm, First Round Capital, analyzed their investment performance over the past ten years (300 investments and 600 founders) and found that female founders outperformed their male counterparts by 63% in terms of value creation. A multi-channel approach to finding investments (vs. just referrals) and how a founder with technical skills actually caused underperformance in tech-based consumer firms, were two surprising findings of the nine in total. Take 1 minute to scan this Fortune article which includes a link to the entire report.

Stay Wednesday Evening for the Game — The Growth Summit attendees will head over to the American Airlines arena where Maverick's owner Mark Cuban will address our audience from 4pm – 5:30pm on Wed Oct 21: then we have a fun evening planned at the House of Blues across the street; followed by tickets to the 7:30pm preseason game between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns (best seats for those that register the earliest for the Growth Summit) – all included in your Growth Summit registration. It's another reason to stay over Wednesday evening and participate in our first Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) User Conference. Be sure to book your extra room night at the Gaylord.

Gazelles Case Study Kenya – Women Sharing Wisdom Institute — "I wanted to share with you the work we are doing in Nairobi," notes Kirsti Tcherkoyan, Gazelles Coaching Partner and founder of Options4Growth. "Olivia Herriford and I, together with two women in Kenya, have formed a non-profit called the Women Sharing Wisdom Institute. We have provided training based on the One-Page Strategic Plan (OPSP) to over 150 young business entrepreneurs in Kenya.

Last week when I was meeting with a group of business owners, who range from hawkers and salon owners to caterers, 80% of the graduates from the program now keep accounting records of their earnings as a part of their KPI's. We have found that when we start the program, only 5% are keeping those records. We have nearly 95% of our graduates put together an OPSP and who have seen an improvement in their business since they have implemented it.

In August, we will be launching the same program in the Bay View Hunters Point area just outside of San Francisco. I know this is only a drop in a huge pond. But the ripple effects are game-changing. And while the process is really more applicable to larger organizations, we are making a difference in the lives of business owners in a profound way. I've attached a picture from one of the sessions last week."

Thank you, Kirsti, for all you're doing to help these women entrepreneurs.


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Interested in selecting a coach to help your company Scale Up? Check out this video explaining the "4+1 Rule of Thumb" for choosing the right coach.

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.