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Table of Contents
3I Program – Hotze Health and Wellness Center 4
ADVISORY BOARD SUGGESTIONS 6
ADVISORY BOARD FOLLOW-UP SUGGESTIONS 8
B-PLAYERS – REACTION TO USA TODAY ARTICLE 12
BADOWSKI, JACK WELCH’S ASST, WRITES MUST READ BOOK 14
BLUE MAN GROUP – DETAILED OPERATIONS MANUAL 15
BUFFET’S ANNUAL LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS 16
CASH CYCLE CALCULATION 17
COMPETENCY-BASED PAY 18
DELL BEST PRACTICES 19
EMAIL SUGGESTIONS – PART 1 21
EMAIL SUGGESTIONS – PART 2 25
GIGEX – THANK YOU NOTES 26
GILLETTE AND CEO JIM KILTS’ SIMPLE FORMULA 29
GOOD TO GREAT – THOUGHTS ON COMPENSATION 31
HEALTH ALTERNATIVES 33
JIM COLLINS – HIGHLIGHTS FROM HIS PRESENTATION 36
JIM COLLINS – HIGHLIGHTS PART 2 37
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES – HOW TO CALCULATE 39
PETER COORS ADVICE 40
JOE HOOVER – SAVES $100,000 USING CRITICAL NUMBER 41
SETH GODIN – PURPLE COW MUST READ 43
QUARTERBACK RATING – MODEL FOR COMPANY METRIC 45
QUARTERLY PRIORITIES AND THEMES 47
QUARTERLY PRIORITY – 12 WAYS TO IMPROVE CASH 49
QUARTERLY THEMES – ICC DECISION SERVICES SAVES 160 HOURS PER WEEK 51
REAL ESTATE MORTGAGES 53
SALES TIPS 55
SALES TIPS PART 2 57
SEATTLE’S BEST COFFEE – GOOD TO GREAT IMPLEMENTATION 59
THANK YOU NOTE ETIQUETTE 61
THANK YOU THURSDAYS 63
THANKSGIVING – SOW LAVISHLY 64
U.S. ECONOMY – HOW TO MEASURE WELL BEING 65
VIGILANT INTERVIEW ON LEADERSHIP 67
WAL-MART – JIM COLLINS’ THOUGHTS 68
WEEKLY REINFORCEMENT OF THEME – LESSON FROM DELL 69
3I Program – Hotze Health and Wellness Center
HEADLINE: Hotze Health and Wellness Center (www.hotzehealth-wellness.com), just outside of Houston, TX, implemented the 3I program we teach in the “Rockefeller Habits” two-day program. Since last April they’ve received 1166 ideas from their 40+ staff members, helping to drive a 23% increase in business and improved customer service. A quick overview of the 3I program along with their summary email to me is below. Attached is a more extensive two-page overview of a successful 3I program.
DETAILS: Most suggestion programs fail within a few months of implementation. Yet, a business needs a constant stream of ideas for increasing revenues, reducing costs, and making things easier for their customers and employees. The 3I program, created by Jimmy Calano, founder of CareerTrack, works in that it provides a structure and rhythm for making this happen on a monthly basis. In essence, you require each manager to submit 3 ideas each month (Hotze requires it of all staff members). These are then reviewed at the monthly “learning” meeting we recommend as part of an effective meeting rhythm. Noted Monica Luedecke, EVP of Hotze, in her follow-up email to me “It is almost frightening to think how good companies could be by implementing this simple, fun, innovative discipline.” Here’s her original email to me that provides some additional details and modifications they made to the process:
April 15, 2003
Greetings from Houston! With this email, I wanted to thank you and quickly update you regarding the impact of one of your sessions we attended last year in April.
One of the presenters, Jim Calano, discussed the 3 Idea Memo Project which he recommended be incorporated into businesses attending the Gazelles Training Course. Upon our arrival home, we gathered all of the staff of our 3 businesses, advised them of the program, and added it as a mandatory monthly discipline for all staff members. We changed the program a bit by adding a fourth objective, essentially, improving guest service. Additionally, we increased the incentive from $20/idea to $50/idea for the top 10 ideas each month, and to $1000 for the top idea of the year, and $500 for the next top 4 ideas of the year. Since April of 2002, between the 40+ staff members, we have had 1166 ideas turned in, of which a whopping 751 have been implemented, 85 are still being considered, with the balance of the rest of the ideas either tabled or duplicates.
This program is wonderful because it encourages all-out participation in the growth and direction of our businesses by every staff member, not just by the leadership team. Everyone loves to feel as though they are contributing to the success of an organization, and this program helps to underscore that principle. Additionally, taking time to think and to brainstorm, which initially seemed like a big chore to some who were not accustomed to that role, has now become second nature. The other benefits, of course, are that the areas covered by the 3I Memo Project: save money, make money, increase efficiency, and improve guest service, are all covered every month. This translates to constant improvement in these critical areas. One of the reasons we enjoyed a combined business growth of 23% last year is due to the implementation of the 3I Memo Project.
Thank you for all you do to promote entrepreneurial business growth and development. We appreciate your diligent and enthusiastic work and have enjoyed applying what we have learned from you and your staff to our businesses.
Executive Vice President
Hotze Health & Wellness Center
281.579.3600 ext. 218
Exploring natural solutions to health problems is the focus of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Our goal is to enable you to enjoy a better quality of life, naturally, by strengthening your immune system, and increasing your energy level.
ADVISORY BOARD SUGGESTIONS
HEADLINE: Advisory Board suggestions – 1) get one; 2) avoid group meetings; 3) assign each a specific focus; 4) compensation is customized to each; 5) better than Board of Directors. Share with me your experiences and I’ll compile and email back to everyone. Thanks to Mike Maddock, president of Maddock Douglas, an advertising, branding, and marketing firm out of Chicago (www.maddockdouglas.com) for suggesting this topic.
DETAILS: Mike is forming an advisory board and emailed me last week for suggestions – his email is below which includes some of his thoughts about setting up the board. Here are my suggestions:
BTW, how do you get a board? Just ask. And keep asking. It took me two years to get John Cone’ to agree to help me. The key to keeping them is to act on their suggestions.
Again, let me hear your suggestions and best practices and I’ll compile and email back to everyone. If you don’t have an advisory board, make it a goal for 2004. Below is Mike’s email:
I am about to establish an advisory board. It will be made up of folks I respect who could be, but are not clients. My goal will be to cover finance, operations, sales and marketing with the board members.
The plan is to pick a warm place in late January, fly them in for golf/spa/and a day of their counsel. In your experience is this enough to get people (who like me) to participate? Any ideas on what may make it more worth their while? One thought I had was to bring in a great speaker...or I could just pay them.
Thanks for your counsel.
ADVISORY BOARD FOLLOW-UP SUGGESTIONS
HEADLINE: Board of Advisors follow-up. Several of you wrote back with concrete Board of Advisor examples and stories – they are below. And Arthur Lipper, former owner of Venture Magazine, grounded because of the fires in San Diego, took the time to write a piece entitled “1Boards of Directors vs. Boards of Advisors for privately owned companies - Are they necessary or simply a nuisance?” It’s attached.
DETAILS: Below are their emails to me in the order listed above:
One Sunday afternoon, I sat down on my patio to list the 3 mistakes I had made in the last several years. I determined that I wouldn't have made any of these mistakes had I held myself accountable to a group of experienced businessmen who I respected. I immediately established a Board of Advisors in May of this year. My Board:
The strategy is young but it is all ready paying dividends in many ways. I could go on and on. I hope this helps.
Chairman / CEO
Holt Sublimation Printing and Products Co
I just read your latest email newsletter on Advisory Boards with much interest! Recently, I began working with a colleague named Cindy Burrell to help privately held companies put together Strategic and Synergistic Advisory Boards. We agree completely with you that a thoughtfully composed Advisory Board is "Better than a Board of Directors".
* Good for the Advisors--because there is no fiduciary or management authority
* Good for the CEO--select people with specific expertise that will accelerate and advance the company's plans and goals
What do we do?
* Evaluate the company's strategic goals and recommend 6-8 areas of expertise for the Advisory Board
* Assist the CEO in recruiting people "out of their comfort zone"; do not immediately think of people who are already giving paid counsel (lawyer, accountant, banker); think of others who will help the CEO stretch and achieve strategic goals
* I have over 20 years of strategic planning and board development experience. I have worked with approximately 2500 organizations in helping them focus, make better decisions and grow.
* Cindy Burrell has more than 20 years of executive search experience, including Board Director searches and consulting with entrepreneurial companies to form Advisory Boards.
LBL Strategies, Ltd.
"Advisory Boards" is a timely topic for Adonix. We are forming one now and I'm excited. I've retained an executive search professional who is very well connected and experienced with boards. He's doing this as a loss leader for us so we are paying only a fraction of his customary rates. I'm not a fan of headhunters but in this case I'm sold on his value add. Our guy has the connections, clout, experience and objectivity to help us get this right.
One mentor I asked for advice warned against conflicts of interest on boards. One of her first advisory board members secretly competed for a major project and stole work from her. She also counseled me to look for folks with personality and a sense of humor - the meetings can be pretty dry otherwise.
Finally, I found the following article in FSB that gives some good advice FORTUNE SMALL BUSINESS Playing the Board Game Don't manage your business alone. Whatever your size, a board can bring in bucks, back you up, and do some (smart) back-seat driving.FORTUNE SMALL BUSINESS Thursday, January 6, 2000 By Anne Ashby Gilbert
Michael Mahoney, CEO Adonix
From: Jeff Prouty [mailto:email@example.com]
Verne, advisory board meetings are a must if 1+1+1+1 is ever going to equal more than 4....they need to be part of your "rhythm and rituals"...first Tuesday of April, July, October, and January, for instance...and you can always do the one-on-one stuff in addition....my early morning two cents....Jeff.
About 18 months ago I got the suggestion to set one up from a colleague at a CEO roundtable that I attend. My presenting problem was, “I’ve reached my current natural limits on learning how to be a CEO, I’m not getting enough consistent and targeted professional development from groups like roundtables, and I don’t have time for full-time school. How can I keep on learning and, more importantly, learning in real time on real issues that I’m facing?” The suggestion from the colleague at the roundtable was, “Form an advisory board, but aim high, go for areas where you/the company specifically need help, and don’t forget to get an expert in the area where you are already working.” That last suggestion was a puzzler until my new friend explained. He said that the flashlight of energy shown on the new areas where you would be learning produce the risk that your attention will start to drift from those areas where you already feel strong – so have someone on your group to help you pay attention to the “old hat” stuff as well.
Well, I formed the AB just over a year ago and it has exceeded predictions and expectations in regards to meeting the need I’d laid out. I went for 2 members first – one to bolster my skills in finance, strategic relationships and senior teams (Ron Kaiser) and one to support our continuing efforts in service quality (Tucker Schuldt, SVP Sodexho). Will hopefully be adding a senior woman to the group in the area of marketing sometime around the turn of the year (patience, patience). Tucker also plays the dual role of having come up the HR side of the house, so helps keep our focus in place in the areas we know best.
During their tenure (last year and this), we’ve grown 85% and 35% respectively. We’ve transitioned the entire leadership team into new roles, managed a major trade market infringement scenario, and I’ve worked out our business plan for the next 4 years.
We meet quarterly, I compensate them for time and expenses, and we chose to meet together or individually depending on schedules and meeting topics. It turns out that Tucker and Ron like each other so when they don’t get to talk, they do ask after each other.
Karen S. Usher, President and CEO
TPO, Inc. www.tpo-inc.com