My husband hit snooze on his 2:15 a.m. alarm, and I never got back to sleep after that. Instead, I lay in bed thinking about work until 5:00, when I got up.

I think I had some productive thoughts during that time, so I suppose it was worthwhile, but my prediction of a refreshed morning didn’t come true.

I’m reading Get a Grip by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton, the second of whom is the main speaker at the upcoming conference. The premise is that companies “hit the ceiling” and need systems to get growth back on track.

The basic structure is sh0wn in the image above.

  • Start with People on the left. The first step is identifying the “seats” — the responsibilities required for a company to function. Then you have to get the right people in the right seats. Only one person can be accountable for each function — no sharing of seats — and the right person has to GWC (get, want, and be capable of) the seat in addition to meeting the Core Values of the organization.
  • To the right of the People is Vision: what the company is for, what it does, and where it’s going. Unlike the other elements of this system, this one has to be shared. People who don’t share the vision don’t stay.
  • Next up is Data: the metrics by which an organization can determine whether they’re on target. Examples that relate to my primary area of responsibility were not getting my own work done, but # of projects late and # of projects over budget. These metrics provide a scorecard that lets you know at any time whether your team is on track or not.
  • Process is next: consistent, documented processes that everyone follows. We spent last year coming up with these, but implementation has not been entirely successful. I haven’t gotten to that section of the book yet, but it might help make these a reality for us.
  • Traction is what keeps the company on track: Rocks, or the major items for which each leader is accountable, and Meetings, for which the book suggests a simple format. First, everyone shares a quick piece of good news. Then the Rocks are read off and the accountable individual says “on track” or “off track.” Everything that is off track goes to the Issues list.
  • The Issues list is like our Friday Box, in that everything that requires discussion is dropped down to the Issues list, so that random discussions don’t derail the process. As soon as the Rocks have been read in a meeting, the group takes 30 seconds to identify the top 3 issues. Each one is then IDSed (Identify the root cause, Discuss the options until the discussion becomes repetitive, and Solve the problem).

For our company, I think it’s clear that we don’t yet have all the right seats and the right people in the seats, and we don’t have the processes in hand yet.