Huddle Video; Management Lightbulb; Visual Desk; Seattle, Toronto, DubaiApril 23, 2015
4 Buffett Rules; 1 Key Influencer; 7 Lessons from Dad; Young Inventor’s MomMay 7, 2015
"…insights for scale-ups"
Want Some Strategy Time? — bid on an one-hour (OK, 90 minutes if needed) strategy session with me and benefit a great cause, NFTE, which has been teaching entrepreneurship to inner city youth for decades. The last company that did this made big bucks! Here's a link – deadline May 5 at 3pm ET.
Want a Better Strategy? — Notes Tien Tzou, CEO of Zuora, in this FORTUNE article titled "Why this CEO believes an MBA is worthless":
In order to manage this effectively, he suggests there are five things a company must do, outlined in the article, and one very important question to answer (I love great questions):
Not surprising, Zuora is an enterprise software company that designs and sells SaaS applications for companies with a subscription business model! Nevertheless, Tzou's advice is worth contemplating at your next council/strategy meeting.
Spring/Fall Strategy Cleaning — in a bid to turnaround sagging sales, McDonald's plans to offer less – dropping 7 sandwiches from its menu. Trimming your own produce/service offerings is something many of us should contemplate doing. Less is more. Notes this FORTUNE article, the restaurant chain's number of menu items have ballooned 75% in 2004, offering 121 items. "The company hopes its "menu simplification" can both speed up its service and simplify the ordering process." It has also closed 700 locations. What products/services/locations do you need to eliminate this spring/fall?
Summer (or anytime) Strategy Breaktime — congrats to Lauren Hefferon and her team at Ciclismo Classico – their Argentina Vision & Vine trip won National Geographic's "Top 50 Trips of the Year" award. And they've launched additional photo adventures in Brazil and Chile in addition to their award-winning bike tours in Italy (and elsewhere). Here's a link to more info on the winning tour.
Strategy Think Time — monthly "Thought" meetings have helped propel Denver-based Thought Ensemble, a technology strategy consultancy, to more than double its size last year, and to double again this year with $6 million in revenue and 24 employees ($250k/employee — impressive). Notes Jim Smelley, co-founder and CEO:
'Thought' was initially an agenda item for a broader company meeting. "We encouraged team members to bring tough client challenges to our ensemble for discussion, however, we found that while the intent was good (and we had sporadically good results), we ended up rushing through the thought topic – and we were not very thoughtful," explains Jim.
Two-Hour Monthly (Single) Strategy Discussion — Jim continues, "We have since re-structured the Thought meeting to be a dedicated time that takes place monthly. We focus on a single topic each month and send pre-read materials and questions before each meeting. The questions and responses are used to drive a two hour discussion on a single topic. During the meeting team members sign up to write related blog posts which are then posted as thought leadership on our company blog.
Strategy "Cerebrations" — Each month, we also award "Cerebrations" for the best blogs or whitepapers from the month. (We know it's a cheesy title, but hey, we're consultants. Isn't that requited?)" Concludes Jim, "our last Thought Meeting focused on technology innovation. We conducted a lively conversation and debate and then set out to produce Thought pieces. It's working. Our small company wrote dozens of articles read by thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of people."
What is the value of working with a Certified Gazelles International Coach? There are four key roles a coach plays in helping your company Scale Up…listen here to learn.
Better Book Club — What's your team reading? Increase your books read per team member. Easy, Proven, and in the Cloud at http://www.BetterBookClub.com.
Align Dashboard — Want to keep track of your plans and progress in the cloud? The complete Growth Tools and Rockefeller Habits disciplines in a SaaS offering.