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  • Writer's pictureAmi Kassar

AmiSight 10/11: Scaling Up With Verne

This week on the AmiSights podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing Verne Harnish.

Verne founded the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) and chaired for 15 years EO's CEO program, the "Birthing of Giants," held at MIT. Verne is also the Founder and CEO of Scaling Up, a global executive education and coaching company with over 180 partners on six continents.

As we discuss the economic uncertainty of the 20s, Verne explains that although this entire decade might be chaotic, the key is to identify your core customer. "Being super critical of, what are their triggers so that you've got something they have to have - the nice to haves are being set aside, and then get sales and marketing aligned around that." Verne also thinks this is the time to right-size. "So the key number to focus on is gross margin dollars per employee - what is your wage cost per dollar of gross margin, and you want to make sure that number is headed in the right direction." Finally, ensuring you're solid on your balance sheet is vital. Always be prepared to play both offense and defense.

Verne describes the importance of a daily huddle, especially for remote workers, and emphasizes that the CEO should send weekly messages to all employees. "The lack of communication in chaotic times freaks everybody out. So over communicating with the daily and the weekly message is critical, especially in chaotic times."

"At the end of the day, you [as the CEO] own strategy - marketing strategy, pricing strategy, culture strategy - and the only way that you're going to be able to design the right strategy is to have a place outside the office ironically." When we think about where our best ideas come from, it's typically not at the office. "We are artists at the end of the day, and we need a studio and a space to escape."

Please tune in to hear the biggest challenges Verne sees businesses face today in this post-pandemic world and how he and his coaches are helping their clients through them.

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