In 2014, Essilor International purchased Canadian eyewear company Coastal.com for CAD$430 million, in what was the most significant investment in an e-commerce company in Canadian history.
Coastal.com continues to wow customers, engage employees and deliver results to shareholders because of the processes put in place that promote flawless execution. Namely:
Coastal.com’s founder and CEO, Roger Hardy, credits these stellar results to the disciplined execution of The Rockefeller Habits.
When it comes to the best framework to execute your company’s strategy, I proudly stand by our Rockefeller Habits Checklist. This simple set of habits has already helped over 40,000 companies scale up while reducing the time needed to run the business — many of which climbed to $10million, $100million, and a few, to a billion and beyond. That’s the dream, isn’t it?
The 10 habits that comprise this checklist have not changed in the 100 years since John D. Rockefeller implemented them in his business — the result of which made him the wealthiest man ever, even by today’s standards.
“Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless.”
Of course, it matters. We know this theoretically, but I’d like to hammer home just how important having a routine is to attaining your goals. Verne’s mantra at Gazelles, “Routine sets you free” is the key factor in their methodologies and tools.
Clear Vision (Goals) + Discipline (Routine) = Success
Anyone can pick up a guitar and strum a note, but unless you take lessons and have the discipline (routine) to practice, you won’t get anywhere. Similarly, business leaders who continually realize their visions are the ones with clear goals and routines in place.
With this in mind, let’s dive straight in.
Here is a little background story behind the Rockefeller Habits explained in this short video:
The Executive Team Is Healthy And Aligned
The first habit spotlights having a healthy executive team that is aligned with the company’s main vision
In his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, Patrick M. Lencioni details unhealthy organizational situations that will derail a leadership team:
Tackle these issues — if any of them exist in your organization — before moving on to any other habit on the list. It is crucial that your team has a level of trust that allows for healthy debates and constructive conflicts.
They need to be able to hash out facts and challenge each other without fear of hurt feelings or office politics. This, in turn, will allow everyone to stay laser-focused on a single priority, creating clarity and power throughout the whole organization.
With this under your belt, you are ready to take on the other habits.
Everyone Is Aligned With The #1 Thing That Needs To Be Accomplished This Quarter To Move The Company Forward
“It was like going to the moon and back: Either we were going to do it, by all working together toward this singular goal [like Apollo 13], or die trying.” — Ben Godsey, President of ProService Hawaii.
It’s tempting to have a few “main” priorities, but that means your focus will be pulled in different directions, thus not really achieving anything of significance. For true scalability to occur, prioritize one goal, and make sure everyone is on board to achieve it.
Scaling a company takes time — it’s all about taking a step forward, checking in, and adjusting accordingly. This can only happen if there are regular check-ins and goals. One such goal is the Quarterly Goal that allows for small wins which leads to your #1 Priority.
Communication Rhythm Is Established And Information Moves Through The Organization Accurately And Quickly
“To move faster, pulse faster”
Meetings have gotten a bad rep, with many companies missing out on benefits because they avoid them altogether. However, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual “Meeting Rhythms” help address the number one challenge that people face when working together: communication.
It might sound counterintuitive to have this many meetings, but when executed properly it actually saves everyone a lot of time in the long run. Communication will become much more open and smooth, and your team will have the clarity and feedback they need to focus on the company’s #1 Priority.
Here is a breakdown of how long each meeting should run:
Every Facet Of The Organization Has A Person Assigned With Accountability For Ensuring Goals Are Met
“If more than one person is accountable, then no one is accountable, and that’s when things fall through the cracks.”
There should be one accountable person assigned to each cell within the organization and it is crucial that these accountabilities are clear throughout the organization. Of course, this doesn’t mean this person is the boss or gets to make all the decisions.
Ongoing Employee Input Is Collected To Identify Obstacles And Opportunities
Ah yes, data — both measurable and immeasurable data — will fuel clear decision-making. This is the first key component for qualitative data that you’ll need to guide the business. It is critical for senior leadership and middle managers to engage their employees in data collection from within the company. In other words, roll up your sleeves and prepare to take notes.
Here are some guidelines we recommend:
Reporting And Analysis Of Customer Feedback Data Is As Frequent And Accurate As Financial Data
Next, let’s look at the data that comes from customers. With our method of execution, it is necessary that all employees to talk to customers — because, after employees, customers are the next biggest source of data that you can use to guide the growth of your organization. I suggest senior leaders formally talk to one customer a week to gather data about the market and competitors.
Core Values And Purpose Are “Alive” In The Organization
This habit will give you a baseline for current and future decisions, including: making a hire, sharing praise and giving constructive criticism. I like to think of Core Values and Purpose as “alive’ in an organization.
Having a purpose (which is a better way to say, “mission”), gives your company the critical “why” behind all that it does. Your purpose needs to be more than just making money.
Employees Can Articulate The Key Components Of The Company’s Strategy Accurately
Does everyone in your organization know your brand strategy, including the three main brand promises? If everyone on your team can’t share your firm’s “elevator pitch” when asked, then you might need to work on your team’s alignment.
All Employees Can Answer Quantitatively Whether They Had A Good Day Or Week (Column 7 Of The One-Page-Strategic-Plan or OPSP)
Each member of your team (yourself included) should be able to answer the question,
“Did I have a great day or week?”
If they can’t, then it might mean they are not clear on their priorities and their KPIs. In order to move forward together, everyone must be aligned. Think of your organization as if it were a machine. In order for the machine to work flawlessly, all parts must work well and work together.
The Company’s Plans And Performance Are Visible To Everyone
This habit basically boils down to having scoreboards everywhere! We encourage you to have your goals, metrics, and plans up around the company for everyone to see, keep track of and remain engaged with. Similarly, make sure your core values and purpose are also posted throughout your firm so everyone has access to them.
While the habits are listed in no particular order, and you can start with whichever you want, we give our clients one rule —they must start with Rockefeller Habit #1: The executive team is healthy and aligned.
It is nearly impossible to implement any of the other habits without checking off Habit #1 first. Once that is realized and your team is ready to go (i.e. they can fight without killing each other), pick one or two habits each quarter and work on those.
Start with the habits that will have the most immediate benefits and over the next 24 to 36 months, you will have been able to get through all 10 habits. Outside of Rockefeller Habit #1, the order is up to you.
This isn’t a one-time thing, but a process that will make your journey easier. As the company scales up, you can continue to refresh the habits.
As you can see, the formula is actually simple.
Knowing the formula is the easy part. Successfully implementing the formula is where things get tricky. Throw in a large organization, with many different people and parts, and things can get out of hand. That’s where these habits come in. It is the rudder that will help you steer the company’s ship to scaling up.
Now, included is the checklist here for free — download it and take a few minutes to go through it. How many of these habits can you check off? Don’t worry too much if you can’t check many, or any at all. Most of the companies mentioned above initially couldn’t either. What’s important is that you start now.
Already implementing one or all of the 10 Rockefeller Habits in your business? Leave a comment and let us know how it’s helped you scale up.