Episode 282: Show Notes
Hello everybody and welcome back to our podcast! Today’s show is almost like a grown up book review project, so just imagine us handing in a report and giving a presentation at the front of the classroom! The reason we are going back to school for this one is because since we recently read the book in question, it has made such an impact on both of us and TCC as a whole that we just could not wait to share it with all of you. Today we will be talking about Traction by Gino Wickman and how it immediately changed our trajectory and gave us so many tools for our biz. We know you are going to love them all! We cannot say this enough, whatever stage of your business you are in, go read it! The book has so many great strategies and this is the Strategy Hour after all, so there you go!
Today we will be looking at a few of the exercises and frameworks that Wickman offers in the book, which cover goal setting, company roles, vision and loads of other good stuff. We guarantee that these tools will change your biz for the better, forever! The book contains fun and engaging quizzes and activities and we really recommend that you use it as a kind of work book, moving through it with your own projects and departments. We will definitely be following this episode up sometime in the not too distant future with a report back on the effects of the framework, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that some time next year. So without more fuss, let’s get down to it!
The Importance of Vision and the First Few Chapters
In the past we have sometimes felt scared of setting very ambitious goals because of a fear of failure. This is something Abagail has experienced more than Emily but we are sure some of you can relate! One of the great things about Traction is how it reimagines goal setting as putting you on the path towards success and made us realize that if those goals change along the way that’s okay too. You can maintain freedom and flexibility while aiming for your ambitions! The book offers a great framework for identifying your core values and focus and gave us so many new ways to think about these things. One of the major benefits for us was seeing the overlap of core values for our partnership! This in turn helps to create filters for important processes like hiring and the roadmap we have after reading Traction has calmed the storm of constant thoughts and ideas around our business into an ocean of inspiration. A lot the ideas in the book are things we have dealt with before, they are not completely new concepts but we feel so clearly that it helped to make the most important things ever-present in our work and keep them a priority. We really want this for all of our listeners too!
Organizational Check Up Quiz and Getting Real on the Future
According to the author, most business owners and their business are operating at about fifty percent of their potential. If you can get that to about eighty percent your business will be flying! There is a great quiz designed to check up on the organizational aspects of your company and then to aid you in keeping on track with important commitments. Part of this is asking where you see your business in the future. We chose to look five years into the future and wrote out one sentence for where we want to be by then. We then did a slightly more detailed description of a benchmark we would like to reach in three years and then laid out an extensive outline of goals for next year. Most of the time and for most businesses, these plans and visions will be based on financial aspects of your company but they do not have to be exclusively about money. The book employs references that may at first be intimidating, drawing on examples from big business and corporate giants. Don’t let this get to you, there are plenty of ways these ideas can be applied to smaller, online companies. Look for the essence behind the examples!
Accountability and KPIs for Each Team Member
Another extremely helpful element from the framework in Traction is the way in which it approaches accountability on your team. We have now given each of our team members a KPI number that they have to be accountable to. This just makes it so much easier to judge overall and individual performance as well as knowing how and when to expand your team. Now that we can assess this at a glance we can make better decisions more quickly and communicate these with each person and department! This is because we are able to see the direct impact of each part of the machine and what needs attention to improve it. Here again it is vital to be looking at your financials and your profit and loss figures. When you have these stats close at hand and have a weekly report or score card you can take immediate action in a more responsive way. All businesses will have different indicators and ways of measuring these and the book will help you identify and measure these.
Company Structures and Necessary Roles
The last section of the book we want to focus on today is that of people in your company. Obviously people are an integral part of how any business runs and operates and Traction drastically altered our perception of how to understand and organize positions at TCC! For Abagail, having come from a corporate background, there had always been a certain resistance to the structures and roles associated with that world. But the book really showed how you can take the best elements of successful big businesses and apply them to what you need. Who and what we need on our team immediately became more clear to us and we are just so excited to work towards this ideal! As we have talked about on the podcast before, the idea of being a visionary has always been a tricky one for us to navigate, but working through the exercises in the book showed us the different aspects of this role and contrasted it with that of an integrator. We definitely feel more clear about our vision now and how we would like to integrate this into our company plans. Our recommendation to you is to, first, definitely get the book! But in terms of how to use it we would suggest working section by section through the different activities and going back over each part when you are addressing that idea in your work. We are sure that it can help you as much as it has helped us and boy are we excited about going forward with these new strategies!
The Importance of Vision and the First Few Chapters. [0:04:40.4]
Organizational Check Up Quiz and Getting Real on the Future. [0:10:12.7]
Taking Lessons from Corporate Structures for Your Biz. [0:22:10.2]
Accountability and KPIs for Each Team Member. [0:24:02.7]
Company Structures and Necessary Roles. [0:33:19.4]
How to Work with the Book. [0:38:50.8]