If there was one book I’d recommend on scaling a start-up or any company past 10 customers, it would be 4 Disciplines of Execution.
The systems showed in this book will help you boost your productivity, and in consequence, your goal achievement. That’s how it worked for me at least!
You will know about how to motivate a team and how to create a quality system for your team to deliver, everything broke down in steps.
Check the video….
Let’s get on it now.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution:
Discipline #1: Focus on the wildly important
The rule of thumb in management consulting is that you only really improve what you measure, and is not different in this book.
To achieve this, we start out by identifying what we want.
For X27 there are 2 things: sales (making sure that we always have a consistent pipeline of new business coming in) and production (making sure production teams are always able to deliver on time).
Those are the most important tasks that we identified to be the biggest drivers of our business.
After that, we jump to the next discipline.
Discipline #2: Focus on lead measures
There are 2 different types of measures:
In the book titled “Deep Work”, Cal Newport (the author) states that there are lead measures and lag measures.
Most of the goals we set in business are going to be lag measures; to illustrate this, I will talk about my experience.
On the sales side, I had a lag measure of 5 closes per week. These closes weren’t under my control, they had a lot to do with how the clients react and all this other stuff.
So what he recommends to do (and what we did) is to take that goal and rethink it retrospectively. Instead of 5 closes per week, we first figured out how many meetings we needed to get those 5 closes per week.
We realized that at a 25% close rate, we would need 20 meetings per week in order to keep those 5 closes there.
If this is true, then 20 meetings per week are the lead measure, right?
We even had to go one step further, because we can’t really control what motivates clients to say yes or no to the meetings, that’s all to them.
So let’s take a step back. We ran the conservative numbers and found there was a 10% meeting book rate. For every hundred emails sent, 10 meetings got booked, but we were looking to double that number on the calendar.
As you can see, that’s the lead measure: we needed to send 200 cold emails a week consistently, to get to our goal of 5 closes per week.
That became our new lead measure; I wrote that on my to-do list and started doing it.
We hit our goal thanks to this process.
You have to keep in mind that lead measure is something that’s fully in your control, not the team’s control.
Next, we will cover the team role in the third discipline.
Discipline #3: Develop a player’s scoreboard and coaches’ scoreboard
For X27 I have an Excel sheet that lists all of our clients, the current monthly retainer they’re on and our goal retainer.
Our goal right now is to get all of our clients to 10.000$ a month, and I would use that to get our team engaged and get them going.
What I didn’t realize, which is highlighted in the book, is that revenue and all that stuff is part of the coaches’ scoreboard; me, as a coach, and my business partner would see this and be thrilled, because as entrepreneurs we like seeing the money go up.
However, the actual people on the team, doing the day-to-day work, aren’t as involved in that part of the business.
Because of that, we had to come up with a player’s scoreboard, which listed out everything the players need to do in order to succeed.
You can see how it looks like on the video above (4:05).
Once you have your scoreboards, there is one last thing to do:
Discipline #4: Add twice weekly one-on-ones
Before, my co-founder and I had a meeting once a week on Wednesdays. For half hour, we would run through how the business was doing.
After reading the 4 Disciplines of Execution, I split it into two meetings: 15 minutes on Mondays and 15 minutes on Fridays (one for business in general and the other one to discuss player’s scoreboard).
Also, I added a weekly one-on-one for our business developer; and every other crucial person that we have is also going to have a weekly one-on-one on the calendar, so we can check their player’s scoreboards and discuss the tasks or accounts they are on.
Apply these 4 disciplines of execution and you’ll see your productivity and efficiency go up a ton.
If you got some value from the video or the article, consider supporting me on Patreon.
See you next time!
Further reading: 15 tips and tricks to close more deals in 2017