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Strategic Discipline Blog

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – Your Strategy and One Thing

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, May 14, 2018

Repeat, Repeat, RepeatIn business after business, front line employees, don’t know the company’s strategy. 

Often it’s because a company’s strategy is not clear.

More often it’s because the business leaders fail to deliver the message of the company strategy frequently.

In our two day strategy and planning meetings with new customers, and during annual planning, we remind our customers of the importance of Alignment.

“About the time you are getting sick of hearing your message, that’s the time your people are just getting it”

My message to my customers is: REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT!

Everyone in your business should know what your company strategy is, and what your One Thing is for the year and each quarter.

When employees don’t know your One Thing for each quarter and year, the problem is you’re not repeating it enough.

Frequent Repetition

The biggest obstacles in team alignment, training new employees, and success in your business, is making sure you repeat your One Thing frequently.  Your One Thing, in addition to your Core Values, and Purpose should be prominently on display in your office.

I’ve seen companies share their Core Values in their business reception area.  One of the best places to have Your One Thing is in the break room.  It’s often the most frequented location in your business. Put it up next to your coffee pot.

Leadership fails to understand how pronounced a message needs to be in order to remember it.

forgetting-curve-annotated-1As this article, Facing the Forgetting Curve: New Approaches to Employee Training & Onboarding, and the accompanying diagram illustrates, late 19th century German researcher Professor Herman Ebbinghaus “forgetting curve” discovered when a message is read or heard only once, it’s 58% forgotten in 20 minutes, and practically out of mind in 30 days (21% recall).

Visit How Sales Professionals Can Overcome the Forgetting Curve for another great article on Ebbinghaus’s research on forgetting and recall.

Radio Advertising Lesson

When I started in radio in the late 1980’s selling radio advertising was a significant challenge.  Professor Ebbinghaus’ memory curve was being used by Nightingale-Conant audio tapes to promote the value of listening to learn and retain the message.  Always having been a voracious learning, I realized these graphs could be used to emphasis and promote the value of radio advertising. I’m not sure how many sales I made using these graphs to convince advertisers the importance of repetition, however I’m sure I convinced the radio sales people who worked for me to make sure our customers ran saturation advertising campaigns.

forgetting_curve_en (Memory)This graphic shows the importance of repeating your message several times over the course of the next 90 days to insure your message is retained. I recall sharing when I message is repeated several times daily in the course of a week, even after 90 days the brain can recall 66% of the message.

“About the time you get sick of your message, your people finally get it”

It's critical to ensure your message, is remembered.

To achieve this, you need to repeat it constantly.  The minute you are getting sick of it, that's when it's just beginning to work! 

What’s your strategy?

Are you disappointed no one knows your Company Purpose, Core Values, Strategy for the year and quarter?

The first question to ask is have you repeated it often enough?  Is it on display for your team to view it daily?  Are you sick of repeating it?

IF you answer no to any of these questions, then you are guilty of believing stating your message once is enough.  Repeating your message once a year and then once a quarter is simply not enough to get your team to remember it.

You must repeat, repeat, repeat your message, and then repeat it again.

How many of the people you onboard receive repetitive training?  Do you expect them to know the position they are hired for by going through your training just once?

If in 20 minutes those you’ve hired only retain 58% of what they’ve learned, and after 24 hours they retain only 33%, can you see the value of making sure you repeat what they’ve been taught again, and again and again.

IMG-eppinghaus-retention-curvesThis curve shows how frequent repetition increases recall. 

Does your present training incorporate the need for repetition, to remind your new hire what they learned?

Do you have reminders daily, weekly, monthly of your ONE THING,  your strategy, your values and purpose.

The next time you ask yourself why your people don’t know these critical  elements of your business, don’t point the finger at them.  Recognize your role as a leader to make sure your message is being repeated constantly to make sure your team remembers it!

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Positioning Systems helps your business grow through the Four Decisions: People, Strategy, Execution, Cash.

Each of the Four Decisions Produces a specific outcome. In our coaching process, we repeat examples and the definitions  of the Four Decisions frequently to make sure our customers remember the value and result each decision produces for your business.












If you’re business is failing to achieve industry leading results in any of these areas, that Decision should be your One Thing.

Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing!  To achieve growth, you need to evolve in today’s rapidly changing economic environment.  Are you avoiding a conversation with yourself on how to can successfully grow your business? Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

scaleup-blueNext Blog – New Orleans Scale Up Summit

I’ll be in New Orleans, sharpening my axe, to learn and grow for myself and your business, attending the Spring Scale Up Summit.  The Summit begins Tuesday, however I’ll be in training sessions in advance of this. I’ll have details from Verne Harnish on the lessons and ideas he’s learning from top thought leaders for my next blog.

Topics: Bringing Out the Best In People, People, consistently execute, Alignment, Execution, Strategy Decision

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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