Virtual Book Tour

Join Lex for a virtual book tour of Organizational Physics – The Science of Growing a Business.

During this 50 minute call, Lex will talk about the key concepts of his pre-release book (get a copy here), how to apply them, and answer your questions.

Space is limited to the first 25 callers. Copy and paste the phone number and code into your calendar.

Date: Wed, June 13
Time: 7am PDT / 10am EDT
Dial: 1-218-936-4141
Code: 122286

Join in, ask questions, get inspired. I hope to hear from you on the call. Thanks!

By |2021-05-18T02:41:19-07:00June 4th, 2012|Articles|Comments Off on Virtual Book Tour

Are You Giving More Than You Get in Return?

The notion of getting more energy than you give from your key relationships can be a hard one for successful, driven people to embrace. It’s especially hard for entrepreneurs in the heat of battle to even fathom. How will a company that’s cost so much blood, sweat, tears, and capital ever pay back more than its cost? But making this shift from energy-costing to energy-adding is not only the key to greater happiness, it’s also the key to successfully scaling a business. Let me share a story to explain why.

A few weeks ago, I had lunch with a thirty-something entrepreneur and CEO. He runs a medical device company with revenues of about $10M. As we got talking, I learned a little about his history. He had started the business six years prior and fought through incredible challenges and turmoil surrounding his team, the market, and the investors. Like many entrepreneurs, he is in significant debt and double mortgaged on his home because every spare penny goes to the business.

Like every good entrepreneur and CEO, he was incredibly determined and willing to fight it out to make things work. But I could also tell that he was feeling worn down, beaten up, and resentful from the constant grind. His plan was to raise some more capital, get the company to profitability, and sell it off to a strategic acquirer. Then he could “take some time off, rebuild my marriage, and figure out what I want to do next,” he said.

Even though I knew he didn’t have the answer yet, I asked him, “Imagine you do sell the company. What do you think you’ll do next?” “I know I should know this,” he replied, “but I haven’t got a clue. Something where I can start fresh and this time . . . do things the right way.” “OK,” I said, “I get that. But let me ask you another question. If you were able to run your current company, extract yourself from the things that cost you energy, and spend 80 percent of the time doing things that you love to do and are good at, would you still sell the business?”

“I’m not sure,” he said. “On the one hand, I’d really enjoy doing that kind of strategic business development. I know that I’m at a point where I need to be working on the business rather than in it, but I just haven’t been able to make the leap. On the other hand, my wife hates how much I work. She’s terrified of how much equity we have tied up in the business. She wants less risk, not more. The current board is a pain in the ass to manage. It’s like herding cats […]

By |2021-05-18T02:43:55-07:00May 22nd, 2012|Articles|Comments Off on Are You Giving More Than You Get in Return?

Draw Me a Picture

When I was growing up, my grandfather used to tell me: “The key to communicating a new idea is to kiss your audience. Do you know what kiss means?” “Ah, no Gramps, I don’t think so and I’m sure you’re going to tell me anyway, so what does it mean?” “It means ‘Keep It Simple Stupid.'”

Grandpa was right but he didn’t go far enough. If I had to respond to him today, I would tell him the secret is “MAPS: Make a Picture Stupid” instead. This is because I’ve realized that, when trying to communicate and get buy-in for a new idea, it’s not enough to keep things simple. You can actually accomplish much more – and more quickly – by using concept maps, or visual representations of your idea. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you can’t describe your new idea in one elegant picture, you haven’t thought it through well enough. You need to go back – literally – to the “drawing board.”

We live in a world of extraordinary complexity and noise – and the things that capture our attention tend to be the most iconic. In other words, it’s the memorable visual representations that stick with us the most. The data also shows that most of us are visual learners and thinkers. By translating complex concepts into simpler images and mind maps, we allow others to better grasp and conceptualize – as well as remember – them. Using images also allow us to bridge any gaps in background, context, vision, and values between us and those around us. It’s not surprising that the proverbial picture is thought to be worth a thousand words.

In the workplace, we’ve all suffered through ineffectively lengthy meetings, the ramblings of long-winded colleagues, and the obscurity of convoluted presentations. I know I’ve been in meetings where one string of “blah blah blahs” followed the next, leading to no real clarity. Often what makes these meetings so bad is that people are not operating with a shared concept, terms, and context. A good picture can establish all three of those things very quickly.

We know this intuitively. That’s why we have white boards in our meeting rooms. Duh! But the point I want to make is that the white board (or picture-making capability) isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Use it and start there. Begin with the picture. Then have the discussion. For example, if you’re out raising capital, make the first slide in your deck a picture of your business model. If you’re trying to win a new account, lead with a picture of your understanding of the client’s problem and how you can fix it. If you’re working to secure votes for political change, start with […]

By |2021-05-18T02:48:06-07:00May 21st, 2012|Articles|Comments Off on Draw Me a Picture

Purpose, Meaning, and Money: How to Have All Three

If you’re like me, the journey to finding alignment between expressing a meaningful life purpose and growing a business has been arduous. On the one hand, you crave that deeper sense of meaning and contribution that comes from living your life on purpose. On the other, you need to make a living, support your family, and pay the mortgage – not to mention your desire for financial and time freedom. Too often these things seem diametrically opposed.

So how do you do it? How do you live your life guided by a deep sense of purpose and, at the same time, have a meaningful and prosperous career? Although it took me years to find the answer, I ultimately realized how anyone can find that alignment. In this article, I’m going to show you how. But first, I need to debunk an all too common myth about money.

Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow? Not Even Close

“If you do what you love, then the money will follow.” I know you’ve heard that one before. Is it true? Nope. I admit that it sounds great. I know it sells a lot of books and tapes. But you’re doing yourself a huge disservice if you think that doing what you love will bring in the dough.

So what is the secret to financial prosperity? The answer lies in how you answer three simple questions:

  1. Do you operate in a large and growing market opportunity?
  2. Does this market perceive that you have unique capabilities that it desperately needs?
  3. Do you meet those needs efficiently and in a repeatable manner?

Financial prosperity is pretty simple. If you can answer “yes” to all three questions above, then your business is financially successful. If not, then your business is struggling financially, and it will continue to struggle, until you can.

Why do your answers to these three questions determine your financial prosperity? As I share in lifecycle strategy, these are related because the goal of any strategy is to efficiently acquire new energy (e.g. money, resources, clout) from the surrounding environment, now and in the future.

To get new energy, an organization must develop and integrate its capabilities with opportunities in the marketplace. If you’ve completed the business purpose exercise earlier in this series, then you already have you a good sense of what your unique capabilities are. In addition, the business execution guide will show you how to operate efficiently and adapt to market changes. What remains is the market opportunity itself and it’s a critical piece in creating purpose, meaning, and money in your life and work. Let’s see how it all comes together.

The Sweet Spot

By |2021-05-18T04:54:27-07:00May 18th, 2012|Articles|Comments Off on Purpose, Meaning, and Money: How to Have All Three

The 6 Laws of Organizational Physics

The following is an excerpt from Organizational Physics – The Science of Growing a Business.

If you’re a growth-oriented CEO, entrepreneur, or department manager, then you’re naturally under pressure to lead your business to greater levels of performance. You also need to do this in a fast-moving, turbulent, evolving marketplace. A lot is riding on your judgment and leadership and there’s little room for error. There’s time pressure, money pressure, market pressure—not to mention work/life balance pressure—that can all add to the difficulty of achieving success.

Complicating matters is that there are never enough time and energy available to accomplish everything that needs to get done. Using limited resources, you must drive success, build powerhouse teams, set the right priorities, and execute fast. And because the right plan is only as good as your team’s commitment to implementing it, you have to ensure constant buy-in and continually lower any friction that gets in the way.

That’s a tall order. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit there are countless times when you’re feeling stressed, doubtful, unclear, or simply stuck. Sometimes your job can feel so thrilling, you can’t imagine doing anything else. Other times it feels so frustrating that you want to quit, move to Tahiti, and take up painting. All in all, you’ve chosen a career path filled with adventure, danger, excitement, and the opportunity to manage one mini-crisis after another.

As a wise leader, you have learned to trust in your own experience. But you also keep an eye and ear open for valuable insights and perspectives. In this regard, there are countless management theories and organizational practices that you can choose from. There are top-down, bottom-up, agile-iterative, data-driven, design-first, customer-oriented, outcome-based, decentralized, centralized, democratic, autocratic, process-driven, lifecycle-stages, and X-Y-Z management theories. If you ask a dozen entrepreneurs, CEOs, and management experts which is the best model, you’ll hear as many different answers.

When you’re faced with a myriad of challenges, opportunities, constraints, and choices, how can you decisively lead your organization where you want it to go? When can you trust your past experience and when does it cast blinders on your ability to see clearly? What’s the right approach for your particular situation? How do you maximize your organization’s performance and your personal satisfaction, now and in the future?

The answer, as with all things, is to first understand what’s really going on. For example, a good doctor understands how the body really functions. Rather than focusing on symptoms, s/he will work to understand the systemic causes of a disease. Similarly, if you understand how your business and team really work beneath the surface, you can get at the underlying causes of what’s making them fail or succeed.

The purpose of Organizational Physics is to do just that—to explain […]

By |2021-05-18T04:54:55-07:00April 30th, 2012|Articles|Comments Off on The 6 Laws of Organizational Physics

Don’t Start the Hiring Process Until You’re Clear on This One Thing

In the past month, I’ve had three separate founder and CEOs who are in similar positions contact me. Each of their businesses is doing $3-5M in revenue and they’re expecting to double or triple sales this year. Over the past six months, two of the companies made a key hire in the VP of sales role that they initially thought was great but turned out otherwise. The common refrain is: “We thought we had the right guy – and he is a great guy – but he just wasn’t able to execute in the way we needed him to.” Both are now in the middle of trying to re-hire for a VP of Sales role and don’t want to make the same mistake twice. The third company hasn’t hired a VP of Sales yet but wants to make sure they do it right the first time. There must be something in the water.

There’s obviously a great cost in time, capital, and energy spent in making a key hire. Making a bad hiring mistake once is costly. Making it more than once can be catastrophic.

There is a very simple step to take before embarking on a new hire process. This step isn’t followed by most traditional recruiting firms. It will help your company make great hires — hires that stick and perform well over time. It applies not only to VPs of Sales but any other role, from CEO to customer service rep. Here’s the approach and its advantages.

Step #1: Know the Forces at Play

To know the PSIU forces at play means this: Before you do anything, first break down the new hire need into its most basic PSIU forces. When you can start with the basics, it’s much easier to get things right.

NOTE: Within Organizational Physics, organizational functions and individual management styles are broken down into their PSIU forces. If you’re not familiar with the PSIU forces yet, do yourself a favor and read this management guide. Once you’ve read the guide, continue with this article.

Let me show you how this is done by breaking down the VP of Sales role into its PSIU forces. First, every sales role requires the Producing (P) force to produce results. It is this force that drives making the calls, setting the meetings, doing the work, and winning the sale. That’s easy. But what other forces does the VP of Sales really need? It depends. What does the organization really need?

  • Does it need a Stabilizing (S) force to create highly efficient processes and systems to manage a sales team?
  • Does it need a high Innovating (I) force to do early-stage business development and ideation?
  • Does it need a high Unifying (U) force to connect well with customers and partners and […]
By |2021-05-18T04:55:49-07:00March 25th, 2012|Articles|2 Comments

The Happy High Achievers

Are you happy in your job? The data says you’re probably not. I can also speak from experience. For most of my life, I operated under a false assumption that the more successful I became, the more happiness I’d feel. But what I found was just the opposite. At one point in my early thirties, I had the experience of attaining everything I had once dreamed of. But instead of feeling elated and happy, I felt burdened, stressed, and beaten down by constant and competing demands. In my experience in the Young President’s Association, a worldwide group of successful CEOs, I found that very few were actually genuinely happy as well.

Why is this? Why doesn’t greater success seem to lead to greater happiness? There’s an interesting study on success and happiness by Dr. Vance Caesar of the Caesar Group that sheds some light on this phenomenon. In an ongoing study of high achievers (the top 2-3 percent of individuals in a given field) across all walks of life, Dr. Caesar discovered this: Only 1 out of 10 high achievers (.2 to .3 percent of the total pool) rate themselves as authentically happy. Imagine that: If you gather ten thousand top achievers from all walks of life—the rich, the famous, the talented—only a handful will actually consider themselves happy.

What’s the difference between a happy high achiever and the rest? In his research, Dr. Caesar identifies eight attributes that dictate both success and happiness. Most of these are fairly easy to recognize and intuitively make sense. They include a driving sense of purpose, a compelling vision, and the intrinsic feeling that your work is meaningful. Other attributes include beliefs and behaviors that create inner peace, a regular process involving the three Rs (review, renewal, and recommitment), and outstanding discipline. Additionally, happy high achievers generally work with mentors and coaches.

It turns out that one of the secrets of the top of the top—the tiny fraction that is both successful and happy—is that they mastered the game of energy management to such a point that they get more than they give from all of their key relationships. That may sound confusing at first so allow me to explain.

As we’ve discussed, everything is a system and every system exists in relationship to other systems. What happy high achievers recognize is that everything in life is ultimately an exchange of energy. After our health, the single greatest factor that energizes us or depletes us is the quality of our closest relationships. If you’ve ever been in a “vampire” relationship that sucks all the energy out of you, you know it can take days to recover from even a brief encounter. On the other hand, if you have a best friend who always seems to […]

By |2021-05-18T04:56:16-07:00March 11th, 2012|Articles|2 Comments

Where Are Your Energy Drains?

According to the laws of physics, your success is determined by how you manage energy – and there’s a universal success formula to prove it. Quite simply: success is a function of integration over entropy. Your goal is always to have high integration and low entropy. In “How to Choose the Right Strategy“, I explained how to create high integration in your company. What gets too little attention in business, however, is the havoc that high entropy plays on a system. It truly is the ultimate killer. Or as physicists Sir Arthur Eddington aptly put it in the early 20th century, “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

So if there’s anything you should be doing in your business that you’re probably not focused enough on, it’s cultivating an awareness of entropy and a commitment to reducing it. Personally, I didn’t appreciate the significance of entropy in my own business until I ran into it. Hard.

In 1998, at the age of 28, I co-founded an affiliate marketing company in Minnesota and moved it to Santa Barbara, California. By 2001, the company was soaring like a rocket, generating incredible growth rates (much easier to do for a small company than a large one but it’s still a very exciting time), and was adding staff and customers as fast as we could to scale. During this period, everyone who associated with the company, from the staff to the customers and even people on the street, seemed genuinely blown away by its energetic, passionate, and committed culture.

As co-founder and CEO, I would often walk into the office and feel lifted two feet off the floor by the collective energy and enthusiasm of the group. I had installed a giant train whistle on the wall that the sales team would blow every time there was a sale. While the bankers on the second floor weren’t too happy with the frequent “blassssssssssssssssstttttttttttttttttt” of the whistle, we would all cheer loudly. It was a heady and intoxicating time.

Most of us had a feeling that the company had a growing opportunity in front of it and that we had the capabilities to execute on it. It was also relatively easy to make and implement decisions and there was a […]

By |2021-05-18T05:49:57-07:00February 27th, 2012|Articles|Comments Off on Where Are Your Energy Drains?

The Universal Success Formula

If you want to understand how something really works and what makes it successful, it’s not enough to break it down into its individual components. Instead, you need to look at how it operates as a system. By definition, a system is a series of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole. And there’s absolutely nothing you can think of that is not a system. For example, you’re a system (specifically, a complex adaptive or living system). You have a body, which is a physical system comprised of other systems (immune, circulatory, digestive, etc.). If we were to look closely at any one of these, we’d see that they’re comprised of even smaller systems. And of course, your physical system is also an element in a larger system. You have a mental and an emotional system; you’re part of a family system, a community system, an economic system, a government system, an ecological and planetary system, and so on. Everything is a system.

When it comes to the study of what makes something successful, what we’re really asking is what causes a complex adaptive system to fail or succeed. Success simply means that the system (e.g., you, your family, your company, or whatever you choose to identify as the system) attains a desired goal. Failure means it does not. Winning the Super Bowl…being happy…earning a billion dollars – as long as you can measure it quantitatively or qualitatively, it’s a valid definition of success. And because everything, large or small, is a system, we can use the same universal principles to understand if it’s likely to fail or succeed. That’s pretty cool.

What actually does cause any system to fail or succeed? The answer is System Energy Management. This means just what it sounds like: System Energy Management defines how energy behaves within a system.

The Universal Success Formula

Entropy. It’s a bitch. Two laws of physics dictate how energy is used within a system. They’re called the first and second law of thermodynamics. Engineers use the laws of thermodynamics to design everything from buildings and bridges to microchips and spaceships. We can also use these same laws to understand how energy behaves within an organization.

The first law of thermodynamics is called “Conservation”. It tells us that, at any given point in time, the potential energy available to a system is finite. Whether we’re referring to your family or your business, this has a finite amount of potential energy available to it. In order to get new energy, the system must acquire it from the surrounding environment — just like you must get food from the refrigerator or your business must get sales from its customers.

The second law of thermodynamics is called “Entropy”. It […]

By |2021-05-18T05:50:30-07:00February 20th, 2012|Articles|2 Comments

The Misaligned Organization and What to Do About It

In 1993 I was a college student in St. Paul, Minnesota. I drove a twenty-year-old canary yellow Toyota Corolla with bald tires, a broken heater, and a misaligned chassis. Because my spending priorities then were the necessities of college life (pizza, beer, girls, and rent), I never invested in making the car safe to drive.

Navigating that car on the icy roads of thirty-below Minnesota winters required a certain ability to go with the flow. But eventually, my refusal to to replace the tires and align the chassis caught up with me. Driving late one winter night … it’s easy to guess what happened. Wipe out. Crash. Car totaled.

Thankfully, no one was hurt.

I share this story because it’s easy to tell when a car is misaligned. The car squeaks, there’s friction and a loss of power, and it’s difficult to steer where you want to go. Similarly, if you know what to look for, it’s easy to tell when your business is misaligned. If you act early on, you can avoid a crash and even improve performance fast.

What It Means to Have an Aligned Organization

Well after I had sold that old Toyota, I received some more equally important lessons on the value of organizational alignment. In my late twenties to mid-thirties, I personally led two companies into compound annual growth rates (CAGR) exceeding 5,0000% per year. From startup to $4M and $12M in two and four years respectively. While this may be chump change to some entrepreneurs, these periods of rapid growth were priceless learning for me. They also provide a valuable lesson that’s applicable to companies of all sizes and at all lifecycle stages.

The surprising thing is that, in order to get that kind of exponential growth, I didn’t have to fight, cajole, or struggle for years. Instead, the leadership team and I created the right internal and external alignment for growth to occur. Because we got the alignment right, the businesses executed extremely fast. The same lesson holds true for you. If you can get the internal and external alignment right for your business, you’ll dramatically increase its probability of thriving and executing very quickly. I’m not guaranteeing 5,000% CAGR. In fact, I’m not even recommending you try for that — it’s much wiser to shoot for more sustainable rates of growth. But the act of creating alignment is essential to every business. Get it right and your company can execute swiftly and powerfully. Get it wrong and you won’t get back on the growth curve until you do get it right. Alignment is the key.

At the most basic level, “external alignment” means that the company’s unique capabilities are well integrated with growing market opportunities. […]

By |2021-05-18T05:21:42-07:00February 10th, 2012|Articles|2 Comments

The Motivation Myth: Or, How to Get Your Employees to Work Harder, Faster, Smarter

I received a call the other day from a high tech CEO looking for advice. His company is seven years old, brings in about $10M in revenue, and serves a very narrow niche in silicon wafer manufacturing. During the past year, his company pre-sold a new product concept to one of their largest customers. This new product is very innovative and promises to open up a brand new market and transform the company into a $100M-a-year business in three years. The product is due for its beta implementation in six months and you can imagine that the CEO has a lot riding on the outcome.

The reason for his call was that he was feeling a lot of anxiety and frustration. His biggest area of concern was that his employees didn’t seem to “get it.” They weren’t working hard enough, didn’t seem truly motivated, took long lunch breaks, went home early, and were making bone-headed mistakes – mistakes that the CEO (who is very technically savvy himself) would have to constantly step in and fix. “What should I do?” he asked me. “What will motivate them to perform faster, better, and smarter? Should I offer more stock options? Cash bonuses? Fire some people and set an example?” “No,” I told him, “None of those things are going to really solve your problem. If you want higher performance, the solution is to quit trying to motivate your employees and find out what already motivates them.”

The Myth of Motivation

Quit trying to motivate people. There’s absolutely nothing you can do to motivate others. People are already intrinsically motivated, engaged, and interested. In fact, when you try to motivate people by offering incentives, threats, bribes, and rewards, you’re actually creating a disincentive to work and lowering job satisfaction and productivity.1.

If you doubt that people are naturally motivated, or perhaps you’re thinking of someone who doesn’t appear to be engaged, creative, or interested at all, I challenge you to look a little deeper. When you do, you’ll see that everyone is highly engaged, motivated, and proficient at something. Here’s one small example. I have a friend whose ten-year-old son is really struggling in school. He’s a sweet kid but at school he acts listless and disinterested and seems unable to keep up with his homework. Last year, the school principal called the parents in and explained that their son was going to be asked to leave the school unless some drastic changes took place. Based on the recommendation of the school counselors, the parents placed the child on medication, hired a tutor, put him into therapy, and created a series of incentives and punishments around his school work. So far, the boy […]

By |2021-05-18T05:22:29-07:00February 6th, 2012|Articles|2 Comments

Mastering Team-Based Decision Making

Every business has mass, which is a measure of its resistance to change. The challenge in getting an organization to change direction is the fact that its mass isn’t neatly self-contained. Rather, it’s scattered throughout its people, systems, structures, and processes – and the collective inertia causes resistance to change. In order to get the organization to execute on its strategy, you’ve got to get the mass contained and headed in one direction.

Having aligned vision and values, as well as an aligned organizational structure, is the first step. If you have misalignment in these areas, then no matter what, you’re not going to get very far. At the same time, alignment in vision, values, and structure alone won’t cause the business to move. They just help to hold the mass together and keep internal friction low. Making the organization come alive and move quickly in a chosen direction requires that two things be done well: making and implementing decisions. In fact, the secret to organizational momentum lies in continually making good decisions and implementing them quickly.

The Most Important Process in Your Business

Every business relies on multiple processes (sales, customer service, finance, product development, marketing, etc.). These can be highly visible or nearly invisible, organic, haphazard, detailed, flexible, constant, or changing and either a boon or a burden. When a process is performing well, it allows the work to get done better and faster. When it’s not, you feel like you’re swimming upstream.

While your business has many different processes – some working well and others maybe a total clusterf#@*k – it’s the process of decision making and implementation that’s most critical to your success. Why? Because at the most fundamental level, a business is simply a decision-making and implementation system. Think about it — every problem and opportunity require a decision to be made (and yes, deciding to do nothing is a decision too) and a solution to be implemented. If the business does this well — if it continually makes good decisions and implements them fast — then its momentum will increase and it will be successful. If it does the opposite — if it makes bad decisions, or if it makes good decisions but implements them slowly, or my personal favorite, makes bad decisions and implements them quickly — then it will fail. Just as a haphazard sales process results in lost sales, poor fulfillment, and an inability to scale, a poor decision-making and implementation process results in poor decisions, flawed implementations, and an inability to scale the business.

What’s ironic about the process of decision making and implementation is that most businesses don’t even think of it as a process. (In case you’re asking… decision making and implementation are not two distinct things. They’re […]

By |2021-05-18T05:23:17-07:00January 24th, 2012|Articles|Comments Off on Mastering Team-Based Decision Making

Organizational Physics Business Acceleration Coaching

Q4 of 2011 was a big period for me. I successfully restructured 3 fast-growing companies while personally coaching 17 entrepreneurs and business leaders. Wow! I’m grateful for the opportunities and to participate in some awesome results. What kind of results? Here’s a snapshot:

  • A company with flat sales the past two years was struggling with accelerating growth. The company co-founders were feeling burned out. We reset the strategy, restructured the organization so the founders could escape low-value tasks, repositioned the story to appeal to investors, and accelerated the product development process. The result? The company raised over $500K in financing, launched a new killer app, and already has a full sales pipeline for 2012.
  • A 5-year-old company had been losing money since its inception. It had a strong culture but was suffering from customer turnover and too many competing priorities, with no way to manage them effectively. We implemented a new go-to-market strategy, restructured the company for clearer ownership, and streamlined the decision-making and product development processes. The result? The company reached cash flow profitability for the first time and is poised to grow from $3M to $7M in 2012.
  • After Google changed its AdSense algorithm, a 7-year-old international internet company lost 90% of its revenue overnight. Ouch. At the same time, the founder was feeling ready to move on and pursue the next new thing. What did we do? We quickly sold off the business for over six figures, netting a nice profit. Then we launched an entirely new business that the founder is truly passionate about.

My goal this quarter is to reach a new audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders. I have a few slots open. There’s no better time than right now to align and activate for the coming year around proven principles that drive results. If 2012 feels like your year to bust out in your business and personal life, consider the impact of 1-on-1 coaching with a master at organizational transformation. This is not a program for everyone.

You’re an ideal fit for this program if…

  • Your business has $2M to $20M in revenue.
  • You’re an entrepreneur with a great opportunity but you’re stuck in the founder’s trap (you can’t seem to get the business to scale beyond you).
  • You’re a CEO who needs to take things to the next level in strategy, team, and execution.
  • You’re committed to playing flat out and to try on new methods

If you’re ready to level up, I’ve got a simple process and powerful principles to get you tangible results starting this quarter.

I only work with select individuals and companies. The first step is a get-to-know-you meeting to see if there’s a good fit. Just contact me at the number below to arrange an initial conversation.

Thanks and best wishes for a great 2012,


PS. Please share this with others in your network who you think will be […]

By |2019-08-11T10:54:42-07:00January 18th, 2012|Articles|Comments Off on Organizational Physics Business Acceleration Coaching

The 5 Classic Mistakes in Organizational Structure: Or, How to Design Your Organization the Right Way

Is your organization designed to be a rocket or a parachute? If I were to ask you a random and seemingly strange question, “Why does a rocket behave the way it does and how is it different from a parachute that behaves the way it does?” You’d probably say something like, “Well, duh, they’re designed differently. One is designed to go fast and far and the other is designed to cause drag and slow an objection in motion. Because they’re designed differently, they behave differently.” And you’d be correct. How something is designed controls how it behaves. (If you doubt this, just try attaching an engine directly to a parachute and see what happens).

But if I were to ask you a similar question about your business, “Why does your business behave the way it does and how can you make it behave differently?” would you answer “design?” Very few people — even management experts — would. But the fact is that how your organization is designed determines how it performs. If you want to improve organizational performance, you’ll need to change the organizational design. And the heart of organizational design is its structure.

Form Follows Function — The 3 Elements of Organizational Structure & Design

A good design supports its purpose. There’s a saying in architecture and design that “form follows function.” Put another way, the design of something should support its purpose. For example, take a minute and observe the environment you’re sitting in (the room, building, vehicle, etc.) as well as the objects in it (the computer, phone, chair, books, coffee mug, and so on). Notice how everything serves a particular purpose. The purpose of a chair is to support a sitting human being, which is why it’s designed the way it is. Great design means that something is structured in such a way that it allows it to serve its purpose very well. All of its parts are of the right type and placed exactly where they should be for their intended purpose. Poor design is just the opposite. Like a chair with an uncomfortable seat or an oddly measured leg, a poorly designed object just doesn’t perform like you want it to.

Even though your organization is a complex adaptive system and not static object, the same principles hold true. If the organization has a flawed design, it simply won’t perform well. It must be structured (or restructured) to create an design that supports its function or business strategy. Just like a chair, all of its parts or functions must be of the right type and placed in the right location so that the entire system works well together. What actually gives an organization its “shape” and controls how it performs are three […]

By |2021-05-18T05:25:49-07:00January 9th, 2012|Articles|16 Comments
Go to Top