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Strategic Discipline Blog

Why Identify Your Flywheel?

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Sep 9, 2019

The Flywheel Good to Great-1Jim Collins’ Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great released February 26th this year.

It immediately reminded me of the value of Good to Great and how to focus on building an enduring great organization.

I quickly read, re-read and wrote several blogs on identifying your Flywheel:  

What’s Your Flywheel?

Create Your Flywheel - Example

6 Steps to Create Your Flywheel

A Map – The Journey from Good To Great

The Flywheel - A Customer Example

Accelerate Momentum – Score Your Flywheel

The Value of Your Flywheel

Collins provided instructions on how to create your flywheel in the book which I outlined in 6 Steps to Create Your Flywheel.  If Jeff Bezos called it his “secret sauce” then I knew there would be value in creating Flywheels for my customers. Flywheel EffectOne of my customers urged me to help him develop his, and a day later I helped facilitate a billion-dollar company’s leadership team discovery of theirs in Atlanta. 

My customer in Illinois used his flywheel to gain clarity on his business model.  The insight it brought him, on where he needed to focus his attention starting with the people he hired, is at least partially responsible for a major increase in his business revenue.  Over 40% increase in revenue from last year’s numbers.

Charlie, my customer, quickly understood the importance of the top of the loop.  The first three exercise in the six steps helped him to formulate the top of his flywheel.  Repeatedly he could see how his successes and failures were dependent upon the quality of the people who worked with his customers and their beliefs.  He realized the Ware Elementary School Flywheel from the Collins’ book while not a 100% match to his approach, had very similar cycles.

Road map for Planning

Back to Health FlywheelHaving discovered his flywheel, developing an annual and his 3rd quarter plan became much clearer.

Hiring the right people became his priority.  Originally, we decided he needed to hire 5 people, and during the quarter determined he needed to hire 7.

Perhaps it’s serendipity or possibly a fulfillment of Henry David Thoreau’s quote (“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”) Charlie’s been able to find several qualified candidates.  He’s very close to hiring the 7 positions he set as an objective.  I don’t need to remind you how challenging the hiring market is right now.

Clarity on your flywheel helps become the 2-ton Gorilla it is today.  As Collins explains, “The Amazon team grabbed onto the flywheel concept and deployed it to articulate the momentum machine that drove the enterprise at its best. From its inception, Bezos had infused Amazon with an obsession to create ever more value for ever more customers. It’s a powerful animating force—perhaps even a noble purpose—but the key differentiator lay not just in “good intent” but in the way Bezos and company turned it into a repeating loop.”

Compounding Force of Your Flywheel

Flywheel EffectAs we shared in Strategic Discipline Harnesses Powerful Forces.  Discipline followed and executed habitually releases powerful invisible forces compounding the energy you and your people exert into your business development.

Collins’ Flywheel exerts these same results, Once you fully grasp how to create flywheel momentum in your particular circumstance and apply that understanding with creativity and discipline, you get the power of strategic compounding. Each turn builds upon previous work as you make a series of good decisions, supremely well executed, that compound one upon another. This is how you build greatness.”

My customers’ success this year is certainly not tied to just his discovery of his flywheel.  Having correctly identified his flywheel I do feel his future success is assured.

Is it time you discovered your flywheel? 

Between now and the end of the year Positioning Systems is offering our help facilitating the six steps to discover your flywheel.  Contact us for ½ day or full day facilitation and guide to help you discover your flywheel. 

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Acheive Execution Excellence BP Guarantee poster-3How can you build an enduring great organization? 

You need disciplined people, engaged in disciplined thought, to take disciplined action, to produce superior results, to make a distinctive impact in the world.

Discipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, to lay the foundations for lasting endurance.

It’s the framework for Good to Great:

  • Stage 1: Disciplined People
  • Stage 2: Disciplined Thought
  • Stage 3: Disciplined Action
  • Stage 4: Build Greatness

A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics and Meeting Rhythms.   3 Disciplines of Execution (Strategic Discipline)-2Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

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

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












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business 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.

InnoQuantOrchNext Blog – Innovation, Quantification, Orchestration

Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited shared the principles of Innovation, Quantification and Orchestration, with a heavy emphasis on Quantification and Orchestration.  Today, AI, Digital Disruption and the expanding Global economy demand a focus on Innovation.  How all three are still relevant for your business, next blog.

Topics: Good to Great, Jim Collins, Build up to Breakthrough Flywheel, Turning the Flywheel, Flywheel

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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