In our February column, I went over the agenda for knowing “The Pulse of Your Company” through Daily, Standing Huddles of less than 12-15 minutes, as well as 1-hour Weekly Meetings with the “2-Pizza Rule” to ensure everyone within the meeting has a clear purpose.
Companies who utilize the “Meeting Rhythms” for their company’s pulse have C-Suite level executives who are determined to scale up their companies 10x in value. But everyone knows the term “Growing Pains” is a stark reality.
Growth sucks cash. Rapid growth must be strategically managed as profitability scalable. Scaling for the sake of scaling is never the right move. After all, if your burger is $5, and you sell 100x more burgers in 2021, was the “growth in scale” really worth it when you realize your costs to make the burger are $4.99?! What will those 100 extra pennies get you in the long run?
When I’m working with my clients who want to scale their business, I want to ensure they know Income is Vanity; Profit is Sanity, and Cash is King. We work on a solid plan to scale their company profitably with actual cash leftover at the end of the day to reinvest into themselves, their business, products, services, or their employees. You should achieve sustainable growth through a hard look at your profitability.
Scaling with less drama
After reading Scaling Up by best-selling author Verne Harnish, local Oklahoma CEOs are learning one of the critical components of the proven growth methodology is knowing “the pulse of your company.” You cannot scale rapidly (while avoiding growing pains, chaos, and drama) if you aren’t in tune with your products and services on every level of the organization.
We believe your company’s heartbeat pulses down from the CEO and up from the Employees and Customers too. You need to identify all the stakeholders within your brand’s sphere of influence – your clients, board of directors, employees, vendors, referral partners, and more. Anyone who comes in contact with your brand, products, or services should have an opportunity to provide feedback that makes it to the top executive desks.
The larger your company grows, the further insulated the CEO typically becomes with layers of management forming between them and their frontline employees, crucial vendors, and loyal customers. This insulation cannot occur if you want to continue to make quick and accurate forecasts of your industry, 2021 market trends, and current company culture.
Deploying the Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual “Meeting Rhythm” of Scaling Up helps CEOs and other C-Suite level executives ensure their company’s pulse never gets lost in translation, like the childhood telephone game. These Meeting Rhythms add accountability and insight into your routine with a set agenda for Daily Synchronization of Departments; Weekly Detailed Tactical updates for short-term success; and Monthly transfer of Leadership DNA and long-term knowledge to build what John Maxwell would call a “Level 5 Leader.”
Executing your communications plan
In the October edition, we also explored the Execution Decision of Scaling Up. Several crucial points to executing well involve terrific communication – communicating early, communicating often, and repeating the communication until others can memorize and repeat it back to you.
To drive these points home, I have coined a 3x and 7x rule of thumb for my clients to ensure their communication truly pulses as often as it needs to in as many methods as possible.
Top-down communication requires 3x 7x rule
Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. In advertising and marketing, you are taught that you drive by a billboard at least three times before your brain ever even registers it the very first time. The same is true in our communications. Right now, our personal lives are so bombarded with change, the pandemic, COVID, sick loved ones, vaccines, quarantine, work from home, new school schedules, closing childcare, and so much more. As a CEO or manager, the only way to cut through the stress, anxiety, and noise is to repeat ourselves.
When you’re forming your Top-Down Communication Plan, ensure you utilize my personal 3x and 7x rule of thumb.
- Repeat yourself at least 3x to ensure your employees heard it the 1st time.
- Ever overhear your employee saying they didn’t know something, and you think to yourself, “What?! I know I said that last week, and last month, too! How is that possible?”
- Well, don’t get too frustrated because even you fall into the 3x rule. Think of the billboard you pass multiple times going to and from work, until one cloudy day, when there’s a bit less sun, you finally think to yourself, “Has that always been there? Did it change colors? Why am I noticing this today, all of the sudden?”
- It is human nature that we’re all busy, distracted, and multi-tasking. As a leader, it’s your job to ensure you repeat yourself at least three times to ensure your employees hear it, quite possibly, for the very first time. There’s a saying in speech prep: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Then tell them each key point. Then wrap up your speech by telling them what you just told them as a reminder.” It sounds funny, but it is true, and it works!
- Manage your message at least 7x different ways to ensure your employees can almost memorize it and repeat it back to you.
- Think about those who are auditory learners, kinesthetic, and visual. Have you used enough methods of communication to reach all of them? Is your message clear and repetitive across all platforms available to you?
- Repeat the messaging during weekly meeting agendas;
- Deliver the message verbally in person;
- Say it privately and within a group, too;
- Repeat the message in writing in an email;
- Add visual messaging with an infographic or poster in the breakroom.
- Make sure you are using at least seven different ways to repeat the message to everyone. This is called “meeting them where they’re at.” And right now, our team headspaces can be all over the place, as we’ve all adapted to change.
Say it early. Say it often. Say it clearly.
You and your management team will need to project your message 10x times more than you ever thought possible. Keep the message alive! They will hear you, absorb the message, and have the ability to repeat it back to you soon. Do not give up.
Communication is a two-way street
Please remember that communication is most certainly a two-way street. If you find yourself only listening or only talking – then the danger sign ahead reads “One Way” street. A key method for repeating yourself with clarity is to have great meeting rhythms in your organization.
The pulse of your communication should flow down from the C-Suite (with repetition 3x & 7x), and the communication should also flow back up to the C-Suite (with terrific listening tools, client surveys, employee feedback, and meetings).
If you see signs of drama and chaos during your Growing Pains, and you enjoyed this article, you may want to revisit:
- What is your business pulse?
- The Execution Decisions
- Rules for Effectively Delegating Part 1 & Part 2
- The 10 Rockefeller Habits
In past columns, I’ve detailed why 70,000 corporations trust the Scaling Up proven methodology, worksheets, and book to 10x their present value. How does your company stack up in the disciplines of People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash? Take a FREE Scaling Up Assessment at http://bit.ly/ScaleUpQA-SE to find out!
I have seen first-hand how these growth principles work anywhere in the world, as I assisted 150 key executives in almost every part of the globe last year alone. I am still in love with the idea of sharing the Scaling Up tools that helped me succeed as an Oklahoma CEO with other executives and entrepreneurs who are presently in need. That is why I dedicate myself to volunteering each month with this Edmond Business column.
For a free 30-minute coaching session, please visit www.calendly.com/stacyeads/business-coaching to set up a private Zoom training with no further obligation.
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About Stacy Eads
Edmond native & UCO Alumna, Stacy Eads, is an award-winning “Most Admired CEO” who scaled her company as a Woman in Tech before becoming an International Scaling Up Business Coach. She now empowers other CEOs from $2M to $200M to embrace their leadership potential through quarterly strategic planning. Her talent is in high demand to CEO Coach, Train Teams, and Speak at Events in both the U.S.A. and Canada.
Stacy Eads’ career affiliations include 50 Women Making a Difference award, Circle of Excellence award, Torch Ethics award, Most Admired CEO award, Edmond Chamber & UCO Mentor, Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma Board of Directors, TEDx OKC Speaker Coach, and Ambassador Chairwoman for the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce.