Four Decisions for Growth – Part I


Four Decisions for Growth – Part I


By: Dave Baney

As a Certified Gazelles Coach (one of only 45 worldwide) I work with clients using a method developed by Verne Harnish that is referred to as the “Four Decisions.” 

In business, “Gazelles” are growth firms, they are job generators that will do the most to get our national economy back on track and the leaders of these growth firms continue to grow their businesses despite uncertain times. Gazelles by definition are those organizations that grow by 20% or more each year for at least 5 years in a row. In order to be a gazelle, you must get these four decisions right: people, strategy, execution & cash. At any given time the challenges in one of these four areas may over shadow the rest, therefore you’re looking to choose which one of the four to focus on next. 

Over the next four weeks we will focus on each of these areas, one per week. This week we will talk about…

PEOPLE: All businesses rely on people in some capacity. From the employees of the company, to the customers or clients they serve and the shareholders of the business… and while systems are important, it is your people decisions that are the most vital. Getting, keeping and growing good people are imperative because the people outcome means happiness.

People come with many challenges and they can impact our happiness. They can be a source of energy or an emotional drain. We can have issues with partners, customers, suppliers, key employees or even challenges at home and sometimes it can be just a lack of enough good employees to serve the needs of our customers and all the needs that we face. The first and simplest question you should ask yourself is:

Do you enjoy going to work each day?

If in fact that’s true then you probably don’t have as many people issues as most other organizations. But if on the other hand you hesitate to answer that question positively then maybe you should think about the people you have.

Would you enthusiastically rehire all the employees that currently work for you?

If not what are you going to do about that? Is there opportunity to resolve the issues? Or is there an opportunity to make a few changes to improve the quantity and quality of the folks who work for you.

If I were to show up at your place of business and ask your employees “Why do you get paid”?  do you think they’d give me the answer you would like to hear? In other words do your people understand their role and the goals that are set for them? Do they have very specific KPI’s…Key Performance Indicators? Are they measured and evaluated against those?

You should think about the value that your employees provide to the organization. How much profit and how much revenue is generated for every dollar of salary and benefits paid? It’s an interesting way to see if the folks are earning their keep. Business growth happens easily when the sweet spot for the product and services is identified, defined and targeted.

So, getting the right mix of people with the skills needed for the organization is always a challenge but, it is essential to have not only the right people in the right seats, doing the right things right but also generating enough revenue and profit that you can afford to keep them.

Productivity and happiness many times go hand in hand. When the right people are all aligned, the culture of the organization is solid and the business will run smoothly. If the employees are doing their jobs and clients are satisfied purchasers of products and services, owners (shareholders) see the profitability and growth of the company and all are happy. 

While this seems a little simplistic, it doesn’t happen without the next principle: Strategy.

NOTE: We will run part two in this blog post series next week.

Dave Baney brings over 30 years of Fortune 500 management and leadership experience to growing businesses nationwide through 55 Questions’ tools and processes. Known for crisp execution, marketing insight and thoughtful direction, he is now a trusted advisor for CEOs. Contact Dave directly: dbaney@55questions.com