Super Bowl Lessons; Visioneer Movie; Pal’s Crushes It; Top 16 for 2016
February 11, 2016
Brad Pitt; Google’s 2 team lessons; Coca-Cola’s design; Panama, Guatemala next week
February 26, 2016

What killed Nokia; What great brands do; Richard Branson event; Live Streaming Summit

"…insights for scale-ups"


Hang with Richard Branson — 5 spots left for Yanik Silver's next Maverick adventure with Richard Branson (and John Ratliff).

Less Doing BPO — Ari Meisel, author of Less Doing, More Living, is hosting his next 2-day Business Efficiency workshop (all hands-on automation techniques to 10x execution and communications) March 11-12 in NY. FYI, we've engaged Ari's team to help us automate more of what we do at Gazelles as well.

Fear of Speaking Up — this is what killed Nokia, according to research published in INSEAD's magazine. Once a leader, this is a brand that has quickly decayed due primarily to senior leadership bravado and an unwillingness to hear and face the brutal facts. Middle management, which could see the problems, were too fearful to speak up. Take 3 minutes to read this sobering account of what killed an iconic brand and then reflect on your own organizational health. Thank you to Georg v. Laffert, our coaching partner in Germany, for pointing me to this article.

Sweat the Small Stuff — FMOT – First Moment of Truth – is the term P&G coined for the three to seven seconds when a shopper notices an item in a retail environment. There are lots of these FMOT's when customers interact with our companies – the website, an email subject line, a phone call's hold message (or length of hold), the ease of initial use, the user interface, etc. Great brands sweat all these small details to assure there is alignment with their primary brand identity i.e. BMW's "great driving experience."

What Great Brands Do — this is the title of Denise Lee Yohn's well-written and insightful book. Subtitled The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest, chapter 5 addresses the importance of sweating the small stuff. Skip right to the section titled "Valuing the Customer Experience" where Denise notes "Great brands are purposeful in everything they do." Then take her challenge to do business with yourself – order your own product online, call your own phone number, anonymously request a follow-up call, etc. (DO IT NOW!). I did this recently at Gazelles after reading Denise's book (registering for the upcoming Summit) and I was disappointed in our own graphical interfaces, etc. Ouch!!

Seven Principles — below is a list of the 7 principles (7 chapters). Denise is keynoting our upcoming ScaleUp Summit in collaboration with FORTUNE, May 24 – 25, Atlanta:

  1. Great Brands Start Inside
  2. Great Brands Avoid Selling Products
  3. Great Brands Ignore Trends
  4. Great Brands Don't Chase Customers
  5. Great Brands Sweat the Small Stuff
  6. Great Brands Commit and Stay Committed
  7. Great Brands Never Have to "Give Back"

Read #7 again. Denise challenges a lot of conventional wisdom. Especially chapter 7 where she challenges us to avoid all these "donation" schemes, etc. Great brands never have to "give back" because what they stand for and act on is already compelling enough!

Eighth Principle Denise wraps up the book with an 8th Principle — "Brand as Business." In the end, what is our business if not its brand – what people think, good or bad, about your company, people, products, and services. We hope you see our brand as first and foremost "practical" – please let me know if you don't – I'll listen! This is a book worth reading over and over. GPro and book club members will receive her book next week. Then come hear her keynote in Atlanta.

LIVE Streaming the Summit — before a perk only for the GPro members, we're offering LIVE streaming of the ScaleUp Summit May 24 – 25 – a chance for your entire team to tune-in to the top speakers we're hosting from the comfort of your conference room, desk, or home. $2495 for one day; $3995 for both days. Click on the Live Streaming Registration option at the top of the Summit landing page.


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 contact Jean Carpenter at [email protected] / (360) 798.9471.


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 – 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

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.