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Strategic Planning via Verne Harnish’s Mastering the Rockefeller Habits

Pure Visibility has undertaken the strategic planning process described in Verne Harnish’s book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What you must do to increase the value of your growing firm.Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Fast-Growth Firm All of us here have read a fair number of management books, attended seminars on process, and the like. Heck, some of us have even taught seminars and workshops on process. But, we knew it was time to take a higher-level view, and Catherine Juon, our fearless Co-Founder, discovered the Rockefeller Habits book and inspired us to take it to heart.

She arranged that we each got our very own copy. In late winter (prior to our second quarter), we followed it and the supporting materials on Verne’s leadership and executive development website to conduct the critical first step – the One Page Strategic Plan.

In a 2-day strategy offsite, we constructed the following:

  • Pure Visibility’s 5 Core Values
  • Our Purpose, Big Hairy Audacious Goal, and 5 actions we can take in the next quarter to live these on a daily basis
  • 3-5 year targets, our brand promise, and key thrusts/capabilities (our priorities for the next 3-5 years)
  • 1 year goals
  • Our quarterly goals (financials, critical #s, and “rocks”)
  • Our quarterly theme, goal, and celebration/reward, and
  • Individual accountabilities towards these goals

Yes, it sounds like a lot in 2 days. The participants were exhausted by the end, but it was a powerful process, not least because it bonded our team together and refreshed what brought us together in the first place. An especially powerful component was deciding what we were going to postpone – what we weren’t doing this quarter.

We recently had our second quarterly planning meeting, where we revisited what we’d accomplished, and then brainstormed this quarter’s priorities. Especially fascinating was that some of the tabled items from the previous quarter were now “ripe for the picking” in that we had the space to address them this quarter. Other tabled items stayed tabled until next time or never.

One of Verne’s key messages is in the first few pages of the book:

Anyone with children will recognize the fundamentals I’ve summarized as:

  1. Have a handful of rules
  2. Repeat yourself a lot
  3. Act consistently with those rules (which is why you better have only a few rules).

p. xxi, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What you must do to increase the value of your growing firm.

Here’s to simplicity and focus, renewed and revisited. Go Team!

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About Dunrie Greiling

Dunrie Greiling is the Chief Operating Officer at Pure Visibility, but her favorite job title at PV was Director of Happiness. She co-authored the book Internet Marketing Start to Finish, published by Pearson Education, Que Publishing. At her personal blog, Scientific Ink, she writes about things like yoga, knitting, and travel. She can be found on Google+, LinkedIn, and microblogs on Twitter as @dunrie.

2 Responses to "Strategic Planning via Verne Harnish’s Mastering the Rockefeller Habits"

  • Strategic Planning
    March 14, 2011 - 9:52 am Reply

    Strategic Planning is a management tool that helps an organization focus its energy, to ensure that members of the organization are working toward the same goals, to assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment. In short, strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future.

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