Mastering the Rockefeller Habits
by Verne Harnish
Over the last 12 weeks I have been lecturing third year students on Advance Strategic Planning at the University of the Sunshine Coast. This has given me a great opportunity to reflect on the plans for my business while trying to engage the students to think of strategy as a tool for business as well for personal life. Now while I won’t bore you with text books, I will encourage you to read ‘Mastering the Rockefeller Habits’ and take action to build an exceptional personal and business life.
Verne Harnish starts off the book relating a discussion he had with Tom Meredith (former CEO of Dell Computers). Tom had attended a course called Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) and was relating to Verne how some of the fundamentals were just as applicable in business as at home:
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!)
Verne then writes how he was reading a biography of John D. Rockefeller and recognised how these same three underlying habits were the key to successful management in the Rockefeller businesses. Verne rephrases these habits as:
1. Priorities – Does the organisation have its objective Top 5 priorities for the year? Does the organisation have its Top 1 of 5 that it focuses on for the quarter (/month) and does everyone have his or her own handful of priorities that align with the organisation’s priorities?
2. Data – Does the organisation have sufficient data on a daily and weekly basis to provide insight into how the organisation is running and what the market is demanding? Does everyone in the organisation have at least one key daily or weekly metric driving his or her performance?
3. Rhythm – Does the organisation have an effective rhythm of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings to maintain alignment and drive accountability?
Verne believes these habits will shape an organisation that understands – and acts upon – its Top 5 and Top 1 of 5, as an organisation that progresses and prevails.
This book is supported with an excellent website and I encourage you to review the articles within and download the resources that Verne supplies. (http://www.gazelles.com/downloads.html)