WARNING: I’m promoting a politician in this insight – though not who you likely think!
September 15, 2016
5 Ways to Name; The Power of TED; Juggling Unicorn and 5 Children; David Marquet Master Class
September 29, 2016

WD-40’s Obsession; Hardy #1 Again; ScaleUpU KC; Please Send NO Stuff

"…insights for scaleups"


7-Minutes to Mastery (Scaling Up Club) — Transform your company and industry with VC Todd Klein's 8 traits of great companies from Built for Change, but first…

How WD-40 Created a Learning-Obsessed Culture — excerpted from Bill Taylor's brilliant new book titled Simply Brilliant, this HBR article highlights how this sleepy company has turned on the gas. Its products are now sold in 176 countries and the share price has tripled since 2009. Notes Taylor, credit goes to CEO Garry Ridge's "WD-40 Maniac Pledge," a solemn vow to become, in his words, a "learning maniac":

I am responsible for taking action, asking questions, getting answers, and making decisions. I won't wait for someone to tell me. If I need to know, I'm responsible for asking. I have no right to be offended that I didn't "get this sooner." If I'm doing something others should know about, I'm responsible for telling them.

Please take 4 minutes to read through how Ridge has created this learning-obsessed company culture.

Roger Hardy Scaling Up Again — after selling his first company for what was the largest e-commerce deal in Canadian history (CN$450 million), Roger Hardy is at it again, this time selling shoes. Just named the #1 new startup in Canada, take 3 minutes to read this article on how Hardy pieced together a couple key (and lucky?) acquisitions while reassembling his old "band" to drive a company that is competing with Zappos and Amazon. It also emphasizes how Hardy is installing the same Rockefeller Habits in Shoes.com that he did in Coastal Contacts (Roger, thank you for the shout out). Can't wait for the IPO.

10 CEOs Invited to ScaleUp — it was Jan 2007 when Roger Hardy first asked me to come in and facilitate his two-day strategy session – he and his team have always been coachable and maniacs about learning which is why they've scaled big. I don't do these private sessions anymore (led, now, by our 197 partners), but Jan 11 – 15, 2017 I'm hosting an intimate "ScaleUp Bootcamp" for 8 CEOs in Marathon, FL (the Keys). Held at John Ratliff's beautiful Marathon Retreat Center, on the water, it's a chance to dig into each company's strategy and tactics, allowing me to bring my 34 years of experience and that of the other 7 CEOs to identify and gain control of the constraints in your business and industry. Plus, it's a chance to escape the cold and get your head back into the game as you start 2017. $7500/CEO inclusive – please email Tanya Fraser if interested in scaling big — [email protected].

Too Few Scaleups — 11,000 companies startup every hour around the globe – just too few scaleup. This recent Bloomberg/BusinessWeek article features our new ScaleUpU city initiative along with the efforts of Endeavor, with whom we're partnering in several regions, to support scaleups. If you think your city is ready to augment its already robust startup eco-system (an incubator on every corner) with something focused on supporting scaleups like Hardy's, please email me [email protected]. We're looking for passionate entrepreneurs ready to lead their cities in this initiative.

ScaleUpU Kicks Off in Kansas City — our new decade-long initiative to establish scaleup eco-systems in 150 cities around the globe kicks off during Global Entrepreneurship Week. With the support of the Kauffman Foundation and the leadership of serial entrepreneur Mary Leonida, our ScaleUpU initiative launches Nov 14 – 17 in Kansas City. Each year 15 mid-market firms in each city, through public-private partnerships, are chosen to participate in a 24-month companywide education and coaching process aimed to double revenues within 3 to 5 years – and are recognized through the press for their important impact on the local economy. A dozen additional cities are expected to launch in 2017. Here's to finding and supporting more Roger Hardy's in local economies.

Welcome Tanya and Mike — after 11 and half years of providing outstanding customer service, Joanne Costello has left the building (her final leadership action was to actually sell our HQ building!). Tanya Fraser is our new head of customer service and Mike Davies is leading operations for our events, like the upcoming Growth Summit in Dallas.

And Please Send NO Stuff — we've gone virtual – our main HQ in Ashburn, VA has been sold and we're going fully paperless. So please send NO packages/mail/books. And with our various sister companies spread around the globe, if you need to ship something to one of us, please inquire first the best address. Here's to travelling light!

7-Minutes to Mastery (Scaling Up Club) In Built for Change, venture capitalist Todd Klein explains the 8 traits that distinguish extraordinary companies. He led a study in 125 companies and narrowed them down to 26 that had a transformative aspect. This clip sets up the context of his research and focuses on the importance of cultural environment to successfully transform your industry.

To access the clip, go here!


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 www.aligntoday.com 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 http://www.BetterBookClub.com.


Have you ever wondered if your company would be a good candidate to work with an executive growth coach? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please email us at [email protected].

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.