Appletree Answers was once again mentioned in Verne Harnish’s Weekly Insights. For those of you who are not familiar with Verne Harnish, he is the author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and Founder and CEO of Gazelle’s. Appletree has benefited greatly by making the most of Gazelle’s executive education and coaching.
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“Summer of Love” — this is Appletree Answers (www.appletreeanswers.com) latest “untheme” for the quarter. Notes CEO John Ratliff “our 3rd quarter theme is basically to take a breather, we have been going 100mph and everyone needs a little break so we are going for all fun.” Several companies find, after pushing on themes quarter after “quarter, that it’s nice to take a break from a heavy numbers-driven focus and do something off-beat.”
Embarrasses Himself Again — continues Ratliff “we launched (the theme) with this YouTube video (in my opinion the best way to launch a theme). $500 all in for production and filming. Make friends with a videographer aspiring to be a filmmaker and be compelling and magically the price drops precipitously. He has more fun than we do shooting these!” Here’s a link to their 5 minute theme video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiwZjKFKwak). At 2:52 Ratliff explains the theme and his rationale for taking a break if you want to skip where Ratliff embarrasses himself, once again, in the beginning of the video.
Making Dreams Come True — While Appletree continues to achieve record revenues and EBITDA each quarter, they have also continued their “Dream On” initiative where employees submit dreams that would like fulfilled. Notes Ratliff “Our latest interesting dreams granted are making a donation to an aids foundation for an employee that lost his life partner and we bought a tombstone for an employee that lost their grandmother a few years ago and could not afford one, those are the morbid ones but I think it helps our people understand the program. The fun one is we have an overweight employee that dreamt of meeting Jillian Michaels from the TV show The Biggest Loser. We are putting her on a 5 day “fitness” cruise with Jillian in the fall and we are working every channel we can to get her some private one on one time while on the cruise. Ironically, it is 3 days after she is getting married so instant honeymoon too, and that was just luck.”
Reaching the Peak — Australia-based Shine Lawyers (www.shine.com.au) just completed their latest quarterly theme entitled “Reaching the Peak.” (http://www.gazelles.com/downloads/WEEK482010.pdf). And they not only reached the peak, they exceeded it and had to put a flag pole on top of their mountain graphic so they could keep climbing. Notes Patricia Cranfield “all the branches and departments who met their goals are planning celebrations on mountain tops: panoramic restaurants, penthouse apartments, picnics in parks on cliff tops…all over Australia.” And here’s a link to one of the weekly updates (http://www.gazelles.com/downloads/ReachingthePeakIntranetWeek_41.pdf) — note how they used the same graphic and just provided a quick update at the bottom, along with a quote from Lance Armstrong. Updating your quarterly theme weekly is key to keeping it top-of-mind.
Tech Support Watching the Numbers — David Oliphant, Director of Business Development for NationLink Wireless (www.mynationlink.com) sent this note to his CEO, Andy Bailey “Today at 3:00 or so, Mike is down in our area and tells me that we’re only $2300 from reaching blue over yellow, which is cool by its own merit. And I’m thinking tonight, what a cool company that our lead Tech Support person is not only aware of this, yet focused on it and hoping we can exceed the number today, the 11th day of the month.” Notes Bailey in response “this is a perfect example of what happens because of measuring, reporting, and using the rock habits.”
Pick a Theme and Drive Performance!
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Did you miss previous insights? – read here (http://verneharnish.typepad.com/growthguy/archives.html)
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