This past week I had the opportunity to speak at length with a prospect that is a big fan of Jim Collins, Good to Great. His business has been growing, doubling revenues in the past 24 months. He’s been responsible for several innovations which have resulted in patents for his company. He’s very aware of the momentum of the flywheel and feels his business is at the point that it’s generating that type of thrust.
Thursday last week I had the opportunity to facilitate two of my client’s monthly meetings. One is at the very beginning of the development process the other is entering their second year. The difference in the two meetings is unmistakable. In one case the meeting went smoothly through Review of Priorities and Last Meetings Actions, Review in detail the monthly numbers and progress on quarterly dashboards and Process Review [What’s working, what’s not]. It allowed us to spend more time in the Learning, Planning, and Solving portion of the meeting.
This business just recently lost their major client, responsible for about 40-50% of their revenue. While they’ve been focused the past two years on Increasing the Number of Large Accounts to Reduce Corporate Vulnerability as their One Thing, it didn’t reduce the impact this had on the company. Despite this they’ve showed remarkable resiliency. Their large account has already committed to more revenue than they indicated they would, helped by a trip to their corporate offices after they’d made the decision to discontinue. More importantly it’s provided a greater resolve and commitment by the staff to achieve their One Thing. The result has been an influx of new clients. It’s possible that this challenge will eventually offer more opportunity, especially if they can convince their top client to return to their previous revenue levels.
Their One Thing for 2013 is sales. We invested 90 minutes or more working on their sales presentation. This was the third time we’ve worked on improving and refining it. We succeeded in identifying additional improvements which should increase in their capability to produce more sales.
In the case of the newer client, the first three steps in the Monthly meeting didn’t go as smoothly. Dashboard updates, discussing progress and challenges, and what processes are or are not working took longer to discuss.
The Learning, Planning, and Solving portion of the meeting was dedicated to Time Management which I led. This company desperately needs to improve in execution, so the discussion and ideas on improving how to manage their time were eagerly digested. However since the front portion of the meeting took longer we weren’t able to complete the full presentation.
This is common when we begin to work with a new client. Often the first 90 days are challenging. One of the partners in the latter group spoke about his dashboard and indicated he felt this one for their first quarter was a trial and he expected his next quarter dashboard would be much better.
Two observations on the contrast these two client monthly meetings offer. The value of developing a habit and consistent pattern for monthly meetings get everyone aligned to provide steady pressure on the flywheel. As you become more familiar with the agenda and Strategic Discipline Principles, you have more time to learn, plan and solve. That is always the most valuable portion of the monthly meeting. The flywheel begins to move faster, imperceptibly it takes on a life of its own. You can see this in the first example. My new client will see these same results. As they continue to follow the meeting rhythms and get better at their metrics momentum builds.
How often do you spend time working on learning, planning and solving? Does your business have a consistent pattern for training your staff? Do you invest time in training to elevate your leadership team’s capabilities and skill set? If not, the monthly meeting rhythm is a tremendous opportunity to do so.
To learn more about how Positioning Systems and the Rockefeller Habits can help provide the discipline your business needs to grow consistently register today for Mastering the Rockefeller Habits Four Decision Workshop.
The time management presentation provided time for me to review everything I’ve learned about managing time. Each day we have 24 hours to work. Everyone is given the same amount of time. Did you know time is no longer the vital currency in improving your productivity? We’ll discuss what’s more important in improving your proficiency and how to get things done in the next several blogs.