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.
Implementing the systems in this book has had more to do with the number of things I’m able to get done in each day and thus each week than anything
What is about is how to motivate team, how to create a system so that your team can actually deliver, and for this the authors go over this exact system step by step. Let’s get on it now
Discipline #1: Focus on the wildly important
The rule of thumb in management consulting is you only really improve what you measure, and is not different in this book.
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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 two different types of measures. In the book Deep Work, the author Cal Newport says that there are lead measures and lag measures. Most of the goals we set on business are going to be lag measures; I know that it was for me.
So for instance on the sales side, I had a lag measure of 5 closes per week. What I didn’t realize is that 5 closes a week isn’t in my control, and it has a lot to do with how the clients react and all this other stuff.
So what he says to do (and what we did) is to take that goal and walk it backwards; instead of 5 closes per week, we figured out how many meetings do we need to get those 5 closes per week.
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We realized that at a 25% close rate, we would need 20 meetings per week in order to keep those 5 closes there.
So, 20 meetings per week are the lead measure right? Wrong.
We even had to go one step further, because I can’t really control how clients say yes or no to the meetings, that’s all individual to them.
Let’s take a step back; we ran the conservative numbers and found there was a 10% meeting book rate. For every hundred emails that went out, 10 meetings got booked, but we were looking to double that number on the calendar.
And there we have our 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.
For the team, let’s go to number 3
Discipline #3: Develop a player’s scoreboard and coaches’ scoreboard
For X27 I have an Excel sheet that list 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 and this book highlighted 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 list 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 this book, I split it into two meetings. No we do it once on Mondays for 15 minutes and once on Fridays for 15 minutes, where we run through our player’s scoreboard.
The other thing I did was add a weekly one-on-one our business developer; and every other higher that we have is also going to have a weekly one-on-one on the calendar, where we go through their player’s scoreboard for every account that they’re on, and run through what those task are.
Implement 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!
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