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The “M” Game – Soft Systems: Human System

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Oct 23, 2023

The Human System’s purpose ensures each team member is supported with the same repeatable process, from recruiting to hiring, to onboarding and training, to the clarity of their functional role’s Scorecard, to coaching, feedback, and opportunity for growth and rewards.

Imagine your business with each team member seamlessly supported. This is the intention in building your Human System

The Human System ensures that all functional roles the team requires to win are consistently filled with A-Players. A-Players are team members who want to be coached and given the opportunity to grow.

topgrading_logo-300x155Topgrading is the Human Systems methodology for identifying, interviewing, and reference-checking candidates. We’ve outlined this system which Jack Welch used to build and maintain 80% “A” players when he led GE for two decades.

The Human System requires much more than this. At its foundation, it's built upon having the right people on the bus, coaching them, giving them the opportunity to grow, develop, and advance the business.

From the “M” Game here is Joe Miller CEO of Seal Masters testimonial.

After about fifteen years of owning and operating a business, I felt like I had taken it as far as I could. I felt stuck. And as a company, I feared we were about to implode. Despite trying several models from thought leaders, we didn’t have a system or structure that everyone knew and understood and that aligned with our execution plan. We lacked continuity between all business areas and a solid training platform, as well as a culture that was more than a gimmick.

I worried all these “stucks” were affecting my ability to attract and retain the best talent. Turnover was becoming an issue. I would hire a great COO, for example, and then lose them because I didn’t have an exciting plan they could plug into and grow.

Seal-Masters of HawaiiEventually, I realized I needed a coach. That’s how our Metronomics journey began.

The first year was so exciting! We had this great coach, and she had this vast system. We started off really ambitious with eight priorities (too many) and ten to twelve people involved in our quarterly sessions (also too many.)

But there was also, for the first time, a genuine eagerness throughout the company to succeed in this system. Upper management was excited that I, as the CEO, had humbled myself to say to the company, “I need help. We Need help. I don’t have all the answers.”

As a result, a unique culture began to form. Employees became invested in the company because they saw we were doing something super cool. We were doing something other businesses were not doing—and they wanted to be a part of it.

By years two and three in this system, our initial excitement settled, and we really began to focus our efforts.

To start, Shannon taught us how to create a proper functional organizational chart, and once we did that, it became very obvious who should be involved in our quarterly sessions. There was a core group of six leaders who should be involved in our quarterly sessions. There was a core group of six leaders who would be responsible for executing the plan we put in place. Yes, these leaders would gather information from people further out to generate that plan, but this core leadership group would be the ones to ultimately create the plan and lead its execution.

Metronomics Seven Systems - The House - Human Circled Once we made that change, we were able to articulate and identify a solid 3HAG. We gained clarity on who our C-Players, B-Players, and A-Players were, and we put efforts toward supporting B-Players to become A-Players and replacing C-Players with A-Players as quickly as possible.

Today, it feels like much of my job as the CEO is done. Everyone knows their tasks and their role and is being held accountable on a weekly and daily basis in a way that’s visible to everyone and brings them great pride to show their progress and accomplishments. Now, I just get to watch it play out and ensure barriers are removed so the team can progress on their priorities.”

Your soft-edge systems—the Cultural System, the Cohesive System, and the Human System—frame the house to provide a clear, solid structure for all teams to achieve their goals. Need help developing your Human System?

Contact us to help you create an amazing work environment to fuel your growth!

To discover at what level your team is functioning. Take The M Game Growth Check (

To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact Positioning Systems today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

What is Strategy - Michael PorterThe hard-edge systems are the key to building a high-performing winning team. You can’t win without a confident strategy, clear objectives, aligned metrics, continuous learning, decision-making awareness, team rewards, and an Open Playing Field. Confidence is often overlooked in terms of achieving success in a business. Next blog we explore Hard Systems and building confidence through your Strategy System.

Building an enduring great organization requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, superior results, producing a distinctive impact on the world.

4Dx Cadence of AccountabilityDiscipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics, and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $500M+) businesses Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! 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.

NEXT BLOG – The “M” Game – Hard Systems: Strategy System3HAG WAY DEF STRATEGY SHANNON 

Topics: Topgrading, Topgrading, People Decisions,, Human System, Shannon Byrne Susko, The "M" Game, Metronomics Soft Systems, Seal Masters of Hawaii

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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Positioning Systems Brand Promise

1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

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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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