How to use the 4DX system to drive growth

This episode is with Chris McChesney – the lead-author of the best-selling book in the world on strategy execution – The 4 Disciplines of Execution (or 4DX). For nearly 20 years Chris has been the Global Practice Leader of Execution for FranklinCovey and has led FranklinCovey’s ongoing design and development of these principles, as well as the consulting organisation that has achieved extraordinary growth in many countries around the globe and impacted hundreds of organisations. Chris has led the implementation of the 4DX system at companies like Marriott International, Ritz Carlton, Coca Cola, Comcast and Lockheed Martin. In this episode we talk about how to use the 4DX system to drive growth.

LINKS

You’re listening to The Growth Manifesto Podcast, a Zoom video series brought to you by Webprofits – a digital growth consultancy that helps global and national businesses attract, acquire, and retain customers through digital marketing.

Hosted by Alex Cleanthous.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:00:46 Chris McChesney introduction to the podcast.
  • 00:01:25 Alex introduces the topic on how to use the 4DX Execution to drive growth.
  • 00:02:04 Alex asks about 4DX System.
  • 00:02:49 Which is harder? Create Strategy or Execution?
  • 00:04:43 How do you define Strategy?
  • 00:06:24 To make it simple, Where do you wanna go when it comes to strategy?
  • 00:07:54 How do you actually get the most out of the team?
  • 00:16:02 What would you say are some of the best ways to differentiate yourself from this sea of other trainers? What’s the best way to stand-out in this environment?
  • 00:16:18 How do you actually help to change the foundation through breakthrough?
  • 00:16:32 How do you communicate or lead this breakthrough as a leader?
  • 00:17:05 Chris advises not to underestimate small wins.
  • 00:20:31 Could you please describe what is Strategic Bottleneck?
  • 00:27:50 Chris shared that he always give feedback to the leadership team that “You don’t have to sell, you don’t have to argue. You are the boss and it’s your choice in the end” You don’t have to argue but you need to listen.
  • 00:47:33 What are some of the things that a company can do or the leadership team can do to refine the next paths?
  • 00:53:13 What is commitment and how does it work?
  • 00:57:00 So the team creates their own commitment?

TRANSCRIPT

Chris McChesney:

They would just get so consternated and embarrassed and rather than beating people up with terminology… These are bright people. Our CEO has an expression, if you see a person on the top of a mountain, you’re going to be pretty sure they didn’t fall there.

Alex Cleanthous:

I like that one.

Chris McChesney:

These are not stupid people. You don’t do somebody a favor by treating them that way. And they got to where they got because of some, either, conscious or intuitive genius. And so we try and really understand, where are you trying to go? What are you trying to do? And the less boxes we put them in, the better we start to understand that strategic intent.

Alex Cleanthous:

Today, we’re talking with Chris McChesney, the lead author of the best-selling book in the world on strategy execution, the 4 Disciplines of Execution, or 4DX. For 20 years, Chris has been the global practise leader of execution for FranklinCovey and has led FranklinCovey’s ongoing design and development of these principles, as well as the consulting organisation that has achieved extraordinary growth across many countries, across the globe and impacted hundreds of organisations. He led the implementation of the 4DX system at companies like Marriott International, the Ritz Carlton, Coca Cola, Comcast and Lockheed Martin. And today we’ll be talking about how to use the 4DX system to drive growth. And how to think about strategy and execution at times of uncertainty.

And just quickly before we get started, make sure to go ahead and hit that subscribe button, so you get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released. Let’s get into it. Welcome Chris.

Chris McChesney:

Thanks Alex. Delighted to be here.

Alex Cleanthous:

I’m excited about this conversation because you seem to have as much energy as I do, and as much curiosity. You don’t mind just going into the details.

Chris McChesney:

That’s right. That’s right.

Alex Cleanthous:

I think it’s going to be a fun one.

Chris McChesney:

Anywhere you want to go, we’re game, you got it.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, cool. Let’s just start at a high level, and just for the people that don’t know, and I think a lot of people are going to know, but just for the people that don’t know, what is the 4DX system?

Chris McChesney:

Okay. In a nutshell, it’s a way to execute on the hardest part of your strategy in the face of competing priorities and distractions. And that part of the strategy almost inevitably revolves around a significant change in human behavior or something that requires a high degree of human engagement. That’s a capsulized-

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, sure.

Chris McChesney:

… definition. We can go anywhere you want with that.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Sure. We’re talking strategy plus execution. So it’s combining the two parts. So within the system, what would you say is harder? Is it harder to create the strategy, or is it harder to execute, or are they just both important?

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Well, what’s interesting Alex, is the longer we looked at this, we saw that they danced together all the way through. There was even an HBR article written on this a few years back. That you have a very difficult time delineating where strategy starts and where execution begins. But in a general sense, if you just said to someone, “What’s harder? Strategy or execution?” People get what you mean by that. There’s the planning and then there’s the, okay, we got to put legs on this thing. We got to get it off the ground. And what’s funny is, that’s how this whole thing started for FranklinCovey 20 years ago. Rom Sheeran was working with our executive team and he asked us two questions. What’s harder strategy or execution? And we said, execution. No. He didn’t say what’s harder, he said-

Alex Cleanthous:

But execution does sound harder.

Chris McChesney:

It does, right?

Alex Cleanthous:

Because that’s for work after.

Chris McChesney:

Right. He said, “What do leaders struggle with more? Do leaders struggle more with strategy or do they struggle more with execution? FranklinCovey, 7 Habits, Stephen Covey, we’ve been deep in leadership development. And we very quickly said, “Oh, they struggle way more with execution.” And then his next question got us. And his next question was, what do we educate them in? What do we teach them? If they get an MBA, if they go to business school, do we teach them about execution? It was like, that was the shot that just sank, and we just started dedicating more and more energy and resources to that question.

Alex Cleanthous:

Because it does seem that many leaders can create strategies. I think some people create a strategy every week, some people create a strategy per day. But the missing link in strategy is executing on it effectively. And so I do think it’s a combination of that. So let’s just unpack that quickly. Right?

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Great. Thanks Alex.

Alex Cleanthous:

How do you define strategy?

Chris McChesney:

There are a lot of definitions that various people use. But the very technical definitions we found aren’t that helpful because they’re not that well understood. And so I find myself actually softening the term strategy rather than trying to put sharp lines on it, just so I can relate to people. So I will soften it by asking people to talk to me about their strategic intent. And one of the ways that I do that is, I get them to think about the difference between all the energy required today to maintain the operation, versus where are you trying to go? And that little delineation gets them to open up a little bit. If I ask for a Bain or McKinsey definition of strategy, well their brains lock up. Right?

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. They can get technical.

Chris McChesney:

They’re like, “Oh, I’m going to go ahead and screw this up. And I’ve read Michael Porter and I’m still going to screw this up. But if we soften it, and sometimes I’ll even step away from the word strategy, and I’ll just be like, what’s the plan? Where are you trying to go? What’s the direction? Every leader has got two things. They’ve got to keep the operation going and profitable, and healthy and surviving, and then you gotta be taking it somewhere. And it’s the, where are we taking it? That seems to encompass strategy.

Alex Cleanthous:

I really like that thinking because we did a podcast recently with Roger Martin, and he’s a strategy expert. And it’s really, really good, but it’s also really, really daunting to think about that level of thinking of strategy, and the downsides, and the risks, and the ups and downs, and all those different parts. And I do like the simplicity of glide. So where do you want to go? So that’s such a simple question to-

Chris McChesney:

But we went the other way.

Alex Cleanthous:

… ask yourselves. Right?

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. They would just get so consternated and embarrassed. And rather than beating people up with terminology… These are bright people. Our CEO has an expression. If you see a person on the top of a mountain, you’re going to be pretty sure they didn’t fall there.

Alex Cleanthous:

I like that one.

Chris McChesney:

These are not stupid people. And you don’t do somebody favours by treating them that way. And they got to where they got because of some, either conscious or intuitive genius. And so we try and really understand, where are you trying to go? What are you trying to do? And the less boxes we put them in, the better we start to understand that strategic intent.

Alex Cleanthous:

Because this is the part that I think all leaders inherently know what they, and in quotation marks, “should do.” And in your book, you talk about the world we’re in, which is about, it’s all the stuff that’s in an organisation that just keeps everybody busy, that takes away time from thinking, from being proactive, from being intentional with actually how they spend their time. And so this way of thinking about, of course, where do you want to go? Really, it is a conversation, and it takes away a lot of the pressure which I think is fantastic because everybody can have that conversation and they don’t need a framework behind it. But if they did have to have a few little things, a few little questions, what would be some of the questions that they should be asking themselves?

Chris McChesney:

So one of the things that we’ve found very helpful, we call it a framework for execution. Let me say it this way. Even before we get into the disciplines, we take a look at that strategic intent through an execution lens. So we say, if all of you have to do directional intent, you live in a big bubble. If you broke that bubble into three categories, let’s dissect it, let’s break it down. Let’s say, these categories are more from an execution perspective than a strategy perspective, but it’s interesting. Just by breaking it down, you can feel the blood pressure in the room lower.

Alex Cleanthous:

Lower.

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Lower. Just like, okay. Because when it’s all together, it’s overwhelming. We want to do this, but we don’t even know how to do it. And before we can do that, we have to do this thing and we know that’s contingent on this, and we don’t even control those factors. And then they will start bleeding. So we just-

Alex Cleanthous:

I know.

Chris McChesney:

… lower down.

Alex Cleanthous:

I’ve been there before.

Chris McChesney:

Okay. You’ve been there, you know what that feels like.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yes.

Chris McChesney:

And we say, okay. So in terms of all the stuff that you know you have to do, let’s start to make a list of those elements that are going to be executed through what we call a stroke of the pen. Now it’s not as easy as the stroke of the pen, but they’re things that require management, leadership authority or financial resources. Okay. We’ve got to restructure, we’ve got a critical acquisition, we discontinued a third of our product line, we were moving the manufacturing process in this direction, these are things that are going to happen because we said so.

We take a number of elements out and set it over there and they go, “Yeah, big consequences. Takes brains, takes guts, but it’s going to happen.” Okay. Then on the other side, we say, “Okay. Now give me those elements of the plan that are necessary for life support, that are necessary just for sustaining the way the thing runs today.” So these are things that are associated with your existing KPIs, with existing metrics, and they don’t have a hard time with this. They go, “Yeah, that’s new, but it’s really just a variation of this.” And that’s going to happen in conjunction with something else that’s going on. And so they start to parse between these two worlds of, management authority, stroke of the pen, chess moves, and life support, vital signs work. And so as they start to make these two lists, there’s this third column.

And the third column is for the stuff that doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit because it can’t get done there. So yes, we changed the product mix, but just because we did that doesn’t mean that Salesforce is going to actually follow us. Because they say, in order for this to work, the Salesforce has got to change who they’re talking to. I was at someplace yesterday, it’s a software company, and they’re in a beautiful spot. The whole thing hinges on the fact that 100 people have to start talking to somebody new and they’re scared to death of that. It’s like, it can’t happen in the day job because the existing inertia won’t allow it to happen and we can’t buy it. And some of it’s funny. Some of them are like, “I’d spend the money.” Let me tell you, I’d write a billion dollar check if I could get this done.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Of course, we all would.

Chris McChesney:

Right. They can’t buy it and they can’t mandate it. And it’s these things in the middle, this column we call breakthroughs, and they’re things they require. So just by that very simple breakdown between stroke of the pen, life support, and breakthroughs, you feel the blood pressure start to go down because they go, “Yeah. You know what? Okay. I can see this now a little clearer.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Just so I can confirm that I’ve got it right. So the stroke of the pen are the things that the management team would normally be doing to say, “Hey, it’s that the reckon, it’s this thing, it’s that thing over there.” It’s almost like the cliche of the management team, they have a fresh idea every week. It’s like, here’s another idea from management, another idea. Is this going to be executed or not?

Chris McChesney:

Okay, now it’s not always, it can go there.

Alex Cleanthous:

Is it like that kind of thing or is it not-

Chris McChesney:

That can be ugly… That can be the ugly form, but think about it like resource allocation. Where are we going to spend our money? Who’s going to report to who? Hard-line change. It’s like the stroke of the pen bundle.

Alex Cleanthous:

Structural.

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Structural, solid stuff.

Alex Cleanthous:

Got it.

Chris McChesney:

Are we going to buy that piece of machinery or not? Are we going to outsource-

Alex Cleanthous:

I understand now.

Chris McChesney:

… that function or not? And it’s the stuff that, if you’ve never been a leader before, it’s what you think leaders do. It turns out it’s only a part of what they do.

Alex Cleanthous:

It’s only a part of it. Yeah.

Chris McChesney:

Right. But it’s all the stuff that, it’s going to happen because you said so. And it can happen at the executive level, but it can also happen at a frontline manager. The frontline manager changes the schedule. And we’re not going to operate that machinery with three people anymore, we’re going to use two people and we’re going to use a Rover to move back and forth. They can make stroke of the pen choices at high levels or low level, but it’s-

Alex Cleanthous:

Understood.

Chris McChesney:

… going to happen because we said so.

Alex Cleanthous:

Okay. Let me try again now. Let me try again-

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Please, sorry.

Alex Cleanthous:

This is good. Because this is what it’s about. So stroke of the pen stuff is the things that management does that change the direction of the company or how the resourcing of the company progresses. And then you have the other side, the life support is all the tasks that the team are doing that are progressing, like their roles. If it’s sales, it’s KPI, if it’s cold calls, whatever else it is. If it’s production, it’s all the work, it’s quality control. It’s all that type of stuff. And the part in between is connecting strategic direction with execution. And you’re calling those the breakthroughs. And this is really the challenge where most organisations fail, is that the operation is there without the breakthroughs, but the breakthroughs are what help a company take that step to improve the quality of competitiveness. Is that-

Chris McChesney:

Yeah, you’re saying it really well. So let’s throw another metaphor here.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yes, please.

Chris McChesney:

If overall financial success or market share success, those high level metrics of success represented in the title of a book, every book is divided into chapters. Okay. Now some of those chapters are going to fall under the stroke of the pen stuff. We went in a different direction, we reallocated resources, those got consequences. A bunch of those chapters are under life support or the day job components of what we’ve evolved into. There’s a couple of chapters that’s sitting there in the middle and it’s like, I can’t get it with the current inertia of the business and I can’t buy it. And they always have those breakthroughs in the middle. They always seem to be associated with a high degree of human commitment.

Compliance is really useful on both the wings, but this stuff in the middle seems to only respond… It’s like the leader sits there and looks at it and goes, “If they don’t care, it’s not even worth doing. If they’re not into this, we’re pushing a rope.” It has that feel to it.

Alex Cleanthous:

It’s funny though. I think you touched on this before. Is that, what leaders and managers think they should do is the stroke of the pen stuff, but what it actually seems to be, and this is something which I’ve had to work on over the years is, how do you actually get the most out of the team? So the team is already there, the team’s trying their best, assuming that the recruitment is good and all, but they’re trying their best. And so then, how do you actually help change the foundation so that their lives are improved through a collective movement towards a certain direction. And we’ll call this one, the breakthrough. And so what would you say is a way for a leader to think about how to communicate or lead these breakthroughs? Because I think this is the part that separates the really experienced leaders from the ones that potentially haven’t had as much experience or as much … It’s called a pain that they’ve had to get through. So how would somebody approach the breakthrough side of things, as a leader?

Chris McChesney:

I’m going to say something that’s not in the book or the second version of the book.

Alex Cleanthous:

This is exciting.

Chris McChesney:

Don’t underestimate the power of small wins. Don’t try to force the title of the book into the breakthrough. Really nailing the critical chapter. Putting disproportionate effort against the strategic bottleneck is often enough to tip it because you’ve got the wings working for you. You’ve got smart allocation of resources and good decisions and assets over here, and you’ve got an existing process that’s sustaining and supporting the organisation today. It has a cultural impact too. So here’s the idea. I want to go back to a little piece of research that was done in the 1960s, by an industrial psychologist named Frederick Herzberg. Some people will recognise this from their studies.

And Herzberg separated the stop that satisfies employees from the stuff that engages them. You got to get your head around that for a second. There’s a whole bunch of stuff that will directly affect employee satisfaction that has no bearing on employee engagement. Satisfaction is whether I like the job, engagements whether I give a damn about the work. Don’t blur these, they’re as different as they can be. Satisfaction, do I have a best friend at work? Do I like my boss? Do I like my work conditions? Do I like my benefits? Am I making good money? Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. That’s a whole litany of stuff.

On the engagement side, there’s two things. Am I part of something that’s winning? Am I progressing? Am I winning? The thing against which I’m winning at, does it matter? Just those two things. And you can do this. Some of the conferences if I’m feeling brave, I’ll have 2000 people pick a partner and in 30 seconds tell each other where they were in their careers when they were most lit up, when they were most engaged, couldn’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. Then I’ll get them back, and I’ll list all the satisfaction stuff, and I’ll say, maybe it was there, maybe it wasn’t, there’s no correlation. You may or may not be making good money. Won’t correlate. You may or may not have liked your boss, we’ll correlate. You may have hated your boss, but it was still my best time.

You can list all those things, and they’re all looking at each other, you see these big smiles and then I’ll ask them to raise their hand if in that moment they felt like they were winning at something that mattered and all the hands go up. You can literally do this research live. So I say all of that, sorry for the long answer, Alex.

Alex Cleanthous:

No. This is great.

Chris McChesney:

I say all of that to come back to your question and say, if we could add anything to what Herzberg said, it would be this, you don’t have to be winning at everything. Parts of the existing operation could be absolutely brutal. There could be things in the environment that are out of our control right now, and we’re getting handed our head because of something that happened in the environment, on, and on, and on, and on, and on. Matter of fact, 80% of it can be held, but give me some piece of sanity. Give me something that I can win at and feel like it really mattered, and you get all the engagement lift you want, right there. So I think some leaders get discouraged because, well, I can’t make it a winnable game because of X, Y, and Z. I don’t control this and I don’t support the resources. And yeah, we get it. That’s okay. But find the small win, find the strategic bottleneck and create a breakthrough.

Alex Cleanthous:

The first part of it is the strategic bottleneck, which you just mentioned. Just for the listeners, could you just quickly define that statement? Be a little-

Chris McChesney:

Sorry. Yeah. I just threw that in there. It’s another way of saying-

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. That’s a really important part, because this is where pain is.

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. It’s another way of saying, where’s the breakthrough?” So whether you view it like moving towards a result or moving away from a problem, whether you see it like an opportunity or the bottleneck that’s holding you back, it’s the small wind that finds itself in the middle of those three elements, that is the thing that requires a high degree of human engagement or a change in behavior, or it’s not really going to happen. And every team seems to have one.

Alex Cleanthous:

But do you need to be a visionary leader to be able to help the team to get through these breakthroughs, or even to identify the breakthroughs and to have the will and the optimism. And the drive to kind of help everyone just progresses through it.

Chris McChesney:

Alex, can you do all my podcasts? I would like you to be my interviewer. I see why you’re listening to people. He’s very authentic, he’s really got his head into this, nothing is —

Alex Cleanthous:

I really have my head into this.

Chris McChesney:

… about you and all. You’re really into this. All right. So here’s what we’ve observed. We don’t know anything about ourselves, we’ve just observed certain things. Based on how you’re defining the word vision, I think the short answer to the question is, no, you don’t tend to see these breakthroughs show up in one of two ways, and we nicknamed them perform or transform. So a performer, and the term we use in the book is a wildly important goal or a wig. It’s calling it a breakthrough, or overcoming a bottleneck.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. So this is a wildly important goal. So the breakthrough is the link.

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. This is the one. That breakthrough idea, when it’s given a starting line, a finish line, a deadline, and it becomes a target, a disciplined one, it becomes a wildly important goal or a wig. One form of that is, we call a perform wig. And that just means it’s something we’re already doing, we want to perform better at. So there’s seven components to really getting this production process right, and we’re going to double down on step four right now for the next five months. We’re going to perform better at that. We think that’s going to have a ripple effect, and we’re betting if we can perform better at that, and I’m a sales organisation, we’re going to work on performing better at prospecting new accounts.

We’re going to perform better at moving up market into a new demographic of client. It’s something we’re already doing, we’re just going to make a leap in progression. And we tend to gently move organisations in that direction if it’s their first go at this operating system.

Alex Cleanthous:

Because it’s easier to get into. Because I can just-

Chris McChesney:

Yeah.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. The system’s already there, I just focus on that part.

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Then the other one is the transform and it’s like, “Oh, we’re going in a whole new direction. And we’re reinventing this thing.” It’s not a pivot, it’s not a performance, we’re transforming, this is new turf. We haven’t gone here. Those transformational wigs are different in nature but those, I think are the ones that typically, there’s a visionary leader behind this with some guts and faith in what they’re doing.

Alex Cleanthous:

Got it. I understand. So the good news is that, you don’t need to be a visionary like Steve Jobs to be able actually to affect change within an organisation. You just need to identify what’s the strategic bottlenecks, what’s the thing that is holding everybody back from truly winning, and to get that point of like, “I’m satisfied because I’m winning and I’m having an impact.” To help free up the thing that is holding everyone back. Because I think a lot of times-

Chris McChesney:

You’re saying this very well, Alex.

Alex Cleanthous:

… especially with organisations, it’s not a grind, but it’s the same thing. And it’s always like, we’re just trying to incrementally get a little bit better. And it sounds like what this is about from the performance perspective is, all right. So we’re already doing the sales process and we know that if we can prospect a bit better and if we can all jump on maybe 50 calls a day more each for a month, let’s see how that goes. And it’s almost like, as a leader to really communicate that message and to help them to get to that point. So to identify the one thing almost. It’s like the one thing that collectively everybody can focus on, is that the way to think about it?

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. And it can be very different by function. So depending on the team, the one thing could be different. So let me say this, because we’re going to be moving back and forth between an organisational perspective and a team perspective. And I want to be a little bit deliberate about this. The 4 Disciplines methodology really is a team by team based where the work happens methodology. If you look at the 4 Disciplines of Execution as a book and compare it to a lot of others, I could start naming off other things that go into this space. Most of them have a top down perspective and we went bottom up. Not deliberately, that’s just how it happened. Okay. Now, the primary focus of the 4 Disciplines is, team by team hitting critical objectives.

Sometimes in some organisations, those all go to one common idea. Organization’s have to go here and everybody is aligning to that one thing. We have to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and return them safely home, and there’s three sub wigs, which is navigation, propulsion, and life support, and your team better be aligned to one of those. And it’s all got to roll up. So they’re over highly centralised because of the strategic imperative. On the other end of the continuum, some leaders look at it and go, “I want the teams closest to the work to decide what their wildly important goal is. I want them to optimise, I don’t want to dictate that to them.” Okay. So I just want to put this out there, and then everything in between. Sometimes half the organisation has autonomy, the other half has to be lined up to critical strategic priorities. So that’s how this methodology is used. If that was clear at all.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, it is clear. I mean, I’ve gone through the programme, I’ve got the books, we’ve integrated it within our company.

Chris McChesney:

Oh, my God.

Alex Cleanthous:

The different successes. Because it’s like what you said, it’s nowhere near simple to execute effectively on a strategy and get the whole team involved. So I do have a few questions about this. Right?

Chris McChesney:

Let’s go here. Yeah. Let’s start.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Because I think the first one is, how much time is spent on just getting the team aligned before they even know what is the thing that they should be choosing? As a leader, what should I be thinking about? This is what I should be putting aside for the team, it’s like a day, a week, or a month. How much time would you say is the first part? Because this is the hard part. Everyone’s so busy. I’m trying to get everybody in, trying to get them to say, I understand and to stick with it.

Chris McChesney:

It’s different at different levels and it’s different for different sizeS of the organisation. It’s not a ridiculous amount of time. Let’s get into the steps a little bit.

Alex Cleanthous:

This might help. Yeah.

Chris McChesney:

I think that’ll help the question out a little bit.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, awesome.

Chris McChesney:

So let’s take a scenario that’s very simple. And we’ll just walk through a simple scenario rather than trying to match every situation.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. That’s the best way.

Chris McChesney:

All right. So let’s suppose we’ve got a president, CEO, we’ve got half a dozen Vps, and underneath that half a dozen VPs, we’ve got 30 director, manager types with single team responsibilities. Okay. Mid size.

Alex Cleanthous:

Mid size organisation. Not too big, not too small. Yeah.

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Small to mid-size organisation. How this might look. It’s funny because it’ll seem a little bit like I’m going to talk out of two sides of my mouth. Some of what I say, it’s going to sound a little top-down and some of what I’m going to say, is going to sound a little bottom up. This has been stuff we’ve played with now in over 3000 organisations for 20 years, and the originator passed away 13 years ago, the books are dedicated to a gentleman named Jim Stewart. Was a Deming Duran student of total quality and grew up in that vein, a big contributor to the stuff I’m explaining. Let’s say that the CEO, president, has some ideas on where this thing needs to go and block some time with the executive team. Let’s say they map out their existing work in those three categories, stroke of the pen, life support. And there’s a decision. Do we double down on this one key operational quality issue that could open up some doors, allow us some new buyers?

Then there’s also a market opportunity. Do we go here? We could pursue this. There’s two or three things that really could sit nicely in that breakthrough bucket in the middle. And at this stage, there’s debate, there’s discussion. The CEO at this point is holding court a little bit, listening to everybody’s argument. And then here are the attributes we really like to emphasise. Transparency, curiosity, and involvement. Okay. We’re going to do this at this level, then we’re going to take it down, and we’re going to hit the directors. It’s going to be a little different. Okay. So transparency means, if I have really strong feelings, I share them. If I’ve got really strong feelings and I’m really freaked out about a couple of things, I share that too.

I don’t burn. Here’s the one you didn’t hear me say, you didn’t hear me say persuasion. God, this is really hard for me personally, but I believe this to my core, stop selling them. We know you’re good at selling, we know you’re very charismatic, we know you’re very persuasive, just stop. You don’t have to. You get to make the decision anyways, you get the final call. They’re going to nod their head if you push hard enough, we get it. Instead, let’s go back to the three terms, transparency, curiosity, and involvement.

So transparency, put all your cards on the table. Let’s not play three hours of, what is the CEO really thinking, or are they really an involvement-based leader.

Alex Cleanthous:

Love that. Love that.

Chris McChesney:

Number two, curiosity. All right, Julie, everybody rolled their eyes when you said that and we all think we know what you meant, but I’m not sure we really do know what you mean. I want you to say it again for us, Julie. Because I don’t think we’re listening to you. All right. Marcus, what are you hearing Julie say? She’s onto something, and I don’t think we’ve been listening to her. She’s been trying to say this for six months and I don’t think we’re hearing her. And I think that data we saw last month is actually backing up what she says. I’m curious. Guess what we found out about curiosity? Stephen Covey said this 35 years ago. Stephen Covey believed the greatest need of the human soul was to be understood. If you were honestly curious about what they think, you don’t have to agree with them.

They would rather be understood than agreed with. No, he didn’t do it. I think he’s crazy for not doing it, but I’ll support him. Get that right. So you see the dynamic here.

Alex Cleanthous:

And just on this part here, this is the hardest thing for leaders to get to. Where they can get to the point where they’re transparent, where they’re curious and where they listen, and they facilitate. They don’t try to sell their idea. It takes time to get there, I think as a person-

Chris McChesney:

That’s a little bit right.

Alex Cleanthous:

… as a leader, because that’s not how you start. You think I’m a leader now, and this is what I have to do, but it’s like, through time, you get to learn to actually ask questions, actually listen. Okay. Cool if I’m getting it.

Chris McChesney:

The hardest thing for me-

Alex Cleanthous:

This is good.

Chris McChesney:

… in the leadership roles that I had, was just suspending my own biases. Wanting to chew my own tongue off like, oh, okay. I’m not going to go there. I’m just going to listen. You have to be in a good place emotionally to just listen on a highly charged topic that you know, you know all about.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yes. Yeah. That’s-

Chris McChesney:

So it’s-

Alex Cleanthous:

… something I’m still working on personally, by the way, I’m getting better because it’s a lifelong-

Chris McChesney:

Thank you for saying that.

Alex Cleanthous:

Well, it’s a lifelong journey to-

Chris McChesney:

It is.

Alex Cleanthous:

… be that person and it’s hard because we’re so passionate sometimes. And it’s not simple.

Chris McChesney:

Even if you struggle with it, they will give you points for trying. Even if you’re lousy and clumsy, and even if Jessica is like, “Okay, forget the last four sentences. I went on a rant. I’m going to roll it back. Julie, tell us again.” You get full credit for that, intent counts more than technique. Okay. Now, at some point, the group is going to solidify and then we tell leaders, “Hey, it’s time to make a call.” But once you’ve done this, once you’ve listened, you can make… So let’s say the group comes together and let’s say that they decide after the dust settles, that there’s one wig, one of these key goals is aimed at a transformative effort. And it’s going to take about a third of the functions in the organisation to work on that, and then the other is going to go after this quality issue.

And it’s going to take about another third of the organisation. Then the other third of the organisation, it can aim at whatever it wants to aim at. But everybody’s going to have one breakthrough in addition to their day job. Here’s where it gets fun. Can we go a little deeper?

Alex Cleanthous:

Yes, please. Because at the moment it’s just a high level direction.

Chris McChesney:

It is.

Alex Cleanthous:

We don’t really have-

Chris McChesney:

That’s right.

Alex Cleanthous:

… the execution is sorted yet. Do we?

Chris McChesney:

So now we bring in the directors. Now, if you’ve ever been in this room before, because you’re going to have half a dozen executives, this is the magic moment. You know what I’m talking about. You’re having these executives, they’re 25, 30 director manager types and they’re ready to listen. They’re at tables. I’m going to lay out four steps, what this meeting looks like. Step number one, first of all, the ground rules are laid out. So this is really important, that you lay out the ground rules upfront. And part of laying out the ground rules is to let folks know we’re not here to cast a vote, and we don’t need a consensus.

Alex Cleanthous:

A consensus. Yeah.

Chris McChesney:

We’re not here to vote and we don’t need consensus. A lot of people think we all have to be on the same page, no we don’t. That’s not what this is about. What this is about is, we want to understand the best we can before we make some decisions. So you can see two things happen. The first thing you’re going to see happen is those two primary goals get ratified, and then you’re going to see the 20 teams pick goals that are going to support them. So there’s a two-step and the two steps are very different. So the first step is, the senior level leaders lay out, here’s why we pick the two wildly important goals that we picked. Here’s what we’re concerned about.

We’re not trying to persuade you because we’re nervous about this here, and we see problems with that there, but this is why we chose this. This is why we didn’t do this, this is why we didn’t do this. We still are apprehensive about this, this, and this. So here’s what’s going to happen. At your tables, directors, come up with all of the clarifying questions you can come up with. No one’s allowed to give feedback right now.

We’re not going to give feedback on something we don’t fully understand, you can only ask clarifying questions.

Alex Cleanthous:

I like that.

Chris McChesney:

Right. And every time somebody starts to go, “Well, why did we do this?” That’s feedback. Do you have a clarifying question? Yes. When you say 75% by December, is that a rolling average or is that 75% in December? These statements, they’re completely concrete, then you handle 30 minutes of clarifying questions and you’re like, “Oh, they weren’t as clear as we thought they were.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Well, I like the clarifying questions approach because this is always the hardest part in putting something forward to a team of people that are extremely motivated, extremely ambitious, and that they care as well just as much as you sometimes. And so it’s like, finding a way to engage is really good because oftentimes people would just respond and I do the same sometimes.

Chris McChesney:

You’re nailing it.

Alex Cleanthous:

And it’s just by asking more questions, you get context. And then at the end of all that, is that when they get to-

Chris McChesney:

That’s when they get feedback.

Alex Cleanthous:

Feedback.

Chris McChesney:

So I watched my mentor do this 20 years ago. He would just ring every clarifying question out and three quarters of the feedback went away in the clarifying questions. They really got what’s going on. Okay. Now go back to your table and get feedback. We coach the leadership team, we’re on the side a little bit when this is going down. And then, what we would coach them is, don’t sell, don’t argue. You don’t have to sell and you don’t have to argue. You’re the bosses, it’s your choice in the end. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still, you’re going to win the argument. You’re going to listen and you’re not just going to listen to look like you’re listening, you’re going to try and understand some things. These people know stuff you don’t know. You got a beautiful opportunity to vet your thinking.

You got a whole bunch of assumptions that you guys were making, that you now have an opportunity to really see if those assumptions hold up. And so what we would see a lot of times is, those goals would change based on the feedback. They said, Tanya is bringing up something. We talked about it, but then I don’t know where that went, but she’s right. It can’t be a rolling average. Yeah. And I think there is a third wig over here that you’re right. If we don’t accomplish that, none of this makes sense. Tommy, I don’t know how we didn’t see that. And Julie, you’re making a really valid point, we talked about that too, but here’s why we’re not doing that. And dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. And so, we are just going to gather as much as we can, give us a break, we’re going to tighten this thing down one last time, and we’re going to put it to bed.

Now, most of the feedback didn’t get adopted, but it got understood. So we’re going to come back and we’re going to give… Now, this is one of the craziest things that happened in my career that I’ve ever observed happening right now. And I had to watch it happen multiple times before I believed my own eyes. Some of the feedback in certain cultures gets really tasty and I am sometimes shocked at the level of audacity of junior officers at an organisation and how nasty it will get until I think about my own organisation and then it comes back to me and I’ve seen it. People will give me liberty or give me death statements, and I’m thinking, “Oh, it’s not going their way, this is going to get ugly.” Gets put to bed.

Executives come back, here’s where we landed on these, this is what we’ve changed, this is it. No, rah-rah, all targets by the way. No inspiring language, we’re going to get engagement folks, we’re not going to get engagement by flowering up the goals and making them sound pretty. It’s all just targets. Okay. Now here comes the magic. We’re onto the next step. And then the next step, here’s what we need. We need each of you leaders to think of one outcome from your area of responsibility that would have the biggest impact on one of these wigs. We might be vital if you can’t sell us, but we won’t dictate. We won’t tell you, we’ll just send you back to the drawing board. Okay. So right now we’ve got a little bit. Before, the directors were in a consultative role, they were consulting the senior leaders.

Now we’ve switched it, and they’re taking the lead, and we’re in an approval role. But we’re on their goals, not our goals. They don’t get to say what the hell my goals are, they didn’t get elected vice president, I want their input, but we’re going to make the decision at this level. It ain’t a democracy, but now I’m in their world. You want to piss people off, start mucking with their world. We’re not going to do that, you know your operation, you see where we’re going. And then this is the part that freaked me out, this is the part I had to see happen multiple times. Jonathan and Suzette looked like they were ready to quit about an hour ago. It didn’t go their way. They’re totally onboard, and they’re totally coming up with goals.

And it’s as though Jonathan and Suzette were saying, if there was a thought bubble over their head, the thought bubble would say, “Well, it sure as heck isn’t what we would do. But as long as you’re asking for our help, we’ll help you get there.” I’m like, were those the same people that I heard talking in the bathroom and they were still upset? Now all of a sudden they’re offering an objective to help with the strategy? I had to watch this happen multiple times before I realised it didn’t matter that they weren’t agreed with, they know they’re not the boss. People don’t have to have their way, but they have to have their say.

Then this new goal, all of a sudden, now it’s theirs. And they got there. They didn’t get there because you convinced them that you were smarter than they were, they ain’t going to ever believe that. They got there because you invited them. And you said, “Is there an addition to that 100 mile an hour whirlwind that you all manage and we are so grateful that you do. Can you give us one objective?”

Sometimes, the leaders would start coming up with objectives like, “We would never have asked for that.” But seriously, if you can deliver that by June, we’re in a very good position right now. This isn’t change management, this isn’t getting Novocaine before the drilling starts, we just have so much change management. We’re going to drill like hell, but we’re going to numb you up real good before we do. You got tO pull these teams into the breakthrough. This is what we’ve learned. Anyways, sorry, long answer again, Alex.

Alex Cleanthous:

No. No. I mean, you just talk through the system essentially. Right?

Chris McChesney:

Of Discipline one. Yeah. The first-

Alex Cleanthous:

Discipline one. These are the wigs.

Chris McChesney:

This teases each team then… Yeah, you’re exactly right. I talk through what that could look like in that scenario, and there’ll be a couple of vetoes and a couple of teams that have to try again, but then the executives look, and follow this Alex, they’re not looking at a plan. If you think we’re describing planning, you’re missing it. These are targets.

Alex Cleanthous:

Targets.

Chris McChesney:

We’ve translated strategic intent into targets.

Alex Cleanthous:

And that’s why they’re extremely numeric. Right? They are not-

Chris McChesney:

Yes. That’s why starting line, finish line, deadline, each one is a single lag measure. It’s not the normal behavior, the normal behavior is to have a strategic idea, get a bunch of smart people in the room, and then start planning, which is just dictating down to the organisation what everybody needs to do. And they’re some stuff on the stroke of the pen side you got to do that with, but not if it requires commitment. The lower you get the closer the targets are to the front line, the more you can start to create engagement and not in some artificial rah-rah way. But now the teams, each team is running its own experiment. So you say, how do you get buy-in? How do you get engagement? Well, don’t solve the damn puzzle for them. It’s their puzzle.

They’re bringing you this gift, they’re bringing you this result, let them figure out the lead measures, that’s discipline two. Let them come up with the scoreboard and how they track it, that’s discipline three. Let them make the weekly commitments on a weekly basis. Your job as a leader is to make this feel like it’s a big freaking deal and we’re putting a spotlight on it.

Alex Cleanthous:

And it’s interesting because I think there’s a lot of conversation out there about the importance of getting everybody to buy-in. But what you’re saying is that, you can buy in without agreeing. It’s possible to be part of it without fully agreeing. I think I was just listening to the Jeff Bezos book.

Chris McChesney:

I’m so glad you said that because you just nailed the whole point of the whole thing. Because if I think it’s about buying in, then I’m going to talk you to death. And if my bladder is stronger than yours at about hour number four, you’re going to start agreeing with me just so you can go to the bathroom.

Alex Cleanthous:

Right. And so I was saying I was just listening to the Jeff Bezos book, Invent and Wander, and he talks about this theory or this approach that they use at Amazon which is, to disagree and commit. So it’s like, hey, we disagree, but we’re going to commit to this specific outcome anyway. And I really liked that thinking where-

Chris McChesney:

That-

Alex Cleanthous:

… you don’t need everyone-

Chris McChesney:

Very similar.

Alex Cleanthous:

… to say yes and everybody to be happy altogether, because that’s very difficult to do. You need months maybe of time to just-

Chris McChesney:

But let’s go back to what you just said. So step one was, a lot of us are going to agree and commit, some of us are going to disagree and commit, we’re all going to commit, but then watch its step two-

Alex Cleanthous:

Step two.

Chris McChesney:

… where I say, “Alex, bring me one.” I’m not assuming, hey, Alex, I’m smarter than you, that’s why I determine strategy, and I’m going to tell you what your objective is. Alex, nobody knows your operation better than you do. I’m not even going to pretend to assume I understand your operation like you do. You understand where we’re trying to go. What can you bring us?

Alex Cleanthous:

And it’s saying, it’s one thing. Because this is the part. And now on the resources-

Chris McChesney:

This is the execution capacitor. Yes.

Alex Cleanthous:

Right. So let’s jump to the execution now. Because, let’s say they all come with one thing, and again, I’ve gone through this, and so sometimes you might bite off too much, the refinement of the thing, what you’re going to do is not very clear. And it’s like, it can get a bit messy. Right?

Chris McChesney:

Right. Good.

Alex Cleanthous:

What are some of the things that a company can do or the leadership team can do to really refine this next part? Because it feels like if they get that part wrong, they don’t win, they don’t get that engagement. So it’s important to start and to get some wins.

Chris McChesney:

You got it, you’re describing this really, really well. If you’ve heard what Alex just said, he hit the key points. Which is, one, it’s got to be impactful enough to matter, but it can’t be so big that it’s unachievable. It’s like, if you took achievable and impactful circles, at some point those two things overlap, you want to be in the overlap between those two things. But let’s be clear about something, sometimes that team hasn’t been given direction from above, and sometimes they’re just like, okay, procurement, you tell us. When there is no strategic alignment, what you have to be careful of is that they don’t try and eat the whole elephant with the breakthrough. It’s not the title, it’s a chapter.

Yes. We know overall net savings is why your organisation exists, but that can’t be a focal point because it encompasses everything you do. If it encompasses everything you do it ain’t a focal point. Okay. It’s a multi-year obsolete deal. Yeah. We got to change. Okay. So let’s say more of a multi-year obsolete deals, you’re going to move that $7 million down to three. You could do that. You have $4 million there. You do that, you have more than contributed enough. Can you see what I just said? I had to take you from a title, which is 17 things, half of them out of your control, down to a chapter and you give me the best chapter, that’s cool. But that was done in a vacuum where you weren’t really tied to any strategic thing above. It’s actually a little easier when you’re linking to something else.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, sure. Okay. So this is where just having that first conversation and get that on board-

Chris McChesney:

You got something to connect to.

Alex Cleanthous:

… then get them to come up… Yeah.

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Right. You can now start those, they can see, okay. This is what I’ve got to do. Hey, can I share a funny story?

Alex Cleanthous:

Yes. Please. I love stories.

Chris McChesney:

All right. This is a doozy. So you mentioned Marriott and they are like a marquee account. They got me this job, 12 years. Okay. The number two person at Marriott behind Arne Sorenson, a guy named Dave Grissen, he just retired a few months ago. Dave and I have worked together on this for 12 years, tens of thousands of leaders into this process. They are machines. I think it’s in the system. There’s an online web portal that tracks the commitments, I think they’re north of 10 million commitments against-

Alex Cleanthous:

Wow.

Chris McChesney:

… guest satisfaction that is recorded. They’ve got a catalogue of lead measures for all different types of results. Marriott’s not good by accident, and for 12 years, every year, Grissen beat the prior year’s guest satisfaction score for 12 years in a row. So he’s legit. Early on in the process, he’s not the number two person at Marriott, he’s a regional VP over the east coast of the United States. He’s got a bunch of GM’s, about 18 general managers and hotel managers in a ballroom and they’re about to start 4 Disciplines. I’m in the room, but it’s his show, I’m just listening. And he says one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard, I thought it was awesome. I’ve never forgotten it. He says, “I’ll let you in on a little insider baseball.” He’s saying this through his general managers.

I don’t know if that’s inside baseball tracks, but it’s like the inside scoop. He says, “You want to keep your job at Marriott? Just take care of the whirlwind. Just take care of the day job. Just run the operation, we will never fire you. We’d be crazy to fire you because the person that replaces you might not run the operation.” So everybody got what he said, but everybody’s looking at each other like, this ain’t the whole story, there’s another–

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Like, and what?

Chris McChesney:

And… But then this is the punch line. He goes, “So if you want to keep your job, just take care of the data. He said, “But if you want to get promoted, bring me one, bring me everything in working order, bring me a rival experience, bring me food and beverage quality.” These are chapters. “And don’t go claiming some result after it happens, call your shot.”

Alex Cleanthous:

I like that.

Chris McChesney:

We said this in jest, but then afterwards they got thinking about it, they go, “That was really good.” And they started to institutionalise it. So when you went for a promotion, the first question was, “All right, show us, what was the result you targeted?” All right. At the Bethesda Marriott, we moved a rival experience from a 64 to an 82 in six months. Here’s what we did.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Right. I like that approach, that conversational approach. It’s so transparent and so direct, and it’s just how it is. It’s nice and refreshing.

Chris McChesney:

It’s like a natural law.

Alex Cleanthous:

It’s refreshing.

Chris McChesney:

Whether we say it or not.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. It’s refreshing. I like that. I’m conscious of time and there’s so much more I want to talk to you about. So I’m going to try-

Chris McChesney:

I know. We can do a second episode if you want it.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Fantastic. Let’s just jump quickly down to commitments. Because commitments is now where it happens. Because everything to this point has been, strategy, planning, thinking, and just choosing the direction to go. But to walk in that direction is the commitment. So can you just quickly talk about commitments and how they work. Yeah.

Chris McChesney:

The quickest way for me to do it, it’s using analogy. Let’s suppose that your wildly important goal was actually weight loss. Now in a business setting, it would never be that, it would be a rival experience, it would be food and beverage quality, it would be net new clients, it would be something like that. Now your lead measures for weight loss or diet and exercise. The parallel for that would be, okay. We’re going to make sure the profile for each guest is accurate five times a day. We’re going to do pre-interviews with 80% of first-time clients. These are lead measures, that’s a whole conversation we haven’t had yet but a lead measure is a bet. So they’re the same kind of bet, like diet and exercise is a bet, that I’m going to lose weight.

The bet is, if I run five miles a week and reduce my calorie input by 400 calories a day, I can maintain this level of weight loss. And I can be at 185 pounds by November 30th. So it’s a similar thing to that. Okay. I haven’t gotten to commitment yet. That’s just the strategic bet. And that strategic bet shows up on a scoreboard that’s Discipline three. So Discipline one is the targeting, that’s what we’ve been talking about the whole time. Discipline two is like diet and exercise, it’s the best. Discipline three is how you see it, and discipline four, these commitments that are made every week. So the best way to do this is to go back to diet and exercise. I’m going to commit to something this week in addition to all that stuff I got to do.

There’s all this stuff in the whirlwind. God, it got me by the throat. It’s got to get done. But in addition to that, what are the one or two things I could do to absolutely ensure I get the miles run and I get the calories right? So I make good on the strategy, I execute on the strategic bet. So I know it’s going to rain next week, all week long. And I hate running in the rain. I know I won’t do it. I’m going to buy the treadmill, I’m pulling the trigger on a treadmill, there is a commitment. You know what? I’m getting a gym membership. There’s a commitment. You know what? I’m calling Sally, because she loves to run in the rain and she will get my butt out all week long.

Whatever it is, to make sure five miles have got to happen next week, no matter what, give me your commitment to make sure it happens, I’m going to go to Whole Foods and buy those ingredients because I’ve been eating like crap lately, I don’t care how much it costs, I’m going to buy that stuff. What should I do this week? Okay. So I’m going to meet with Marcus and Sonia, and I’m going to walk guests to their room with them in order to ensure those leads. What am I going to do to make sure we’re getting the leads right? Now, well here’s what’s interesting about that. It’s just in time strategic planning. So rather than strategic planning happening at the beginning of the year from the people at the top of the organisation, it’s literally happening every week by the people at the bottom of the organisation. You heard the expression force against leverage? The lead measure is the lever, the commitment is the force against the leverage.

So this is what runs the 4 Disciplines, is a little bit of force every single week against each team’s unique leverage points. It’s how Marriott, the biggest hotel company in the world, beat their guests’ set numbers every year for 12 years.

Alex Cleanthous:

Does the team create their own commitment? Is it like the-

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Great. Thank you.

Alex Cleanthous:

… directors and the VPs say, “This is what I’m going to do.” Is that what they do?

Chris McChesney:

Yeah.

Alex Cleanthous:

And then-

Chris McChesney:

Here’s what it is, there’s a couple of rules around discipline four. So the meeting has to happen at the same time every week. You have to be out of the meeting in 20 minutes, you’re not allowed to discuss whirlwinds during this meeting, each person has to say if they did the thing they committed to do the week before, there’s a little app that’ll show it. I got to review my scoreboard and I got to make commitments for next week. And the commitments are individual and they come from the person, not from the leader.

Alex Cleanthous:

But the leader has veto power. Is that what you said before or not at the commitment level? The commitment level is different.

Chris McChesney:

Sometimes. Yeah, it is. The principle does hold up. So in certain situations, as a leader, you might say, “Alex help me understand why that commitment is going to help our lead measure.” And usually that’s enough for you to go, “Oh, I see where you’re going.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Questions.

Chris McChesney:

Yeah. Because the tendency will be for the commitments to start becoming whirlwind objectives that you were going to do anyways. And that’s a nice way to veto it back into play. Sometimes they’ll say, “Well, listen, if I don’t move those racks to the back room, we’ve got way too much clutter, and that’s why we’re scoring so bad on our appearance scores.” Oh, I get it. Okay. Yeah. Move the racks to the back room. I thought that was a whirlwind, but you just made a good argument for moving the racks.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Good. I love that way of thinking. I love that way of thinking. Listen, we’re at time, but for the listeners, the 4DX, yes. This is the book, it’s available on Amazon, it’s available online, just have a look at it. Highly recommended. Yeah. It’s very simple this approach, but it’s not simplistic. This is what you said. Right?

Chris McChesney:

Yeah.

Alex Cleanthous:

But it’s highly recommended. So make sure to buy this book. It will just give you a lot more insight into the conversation that we have been having today. Yeah. But Chris, if there was one thing that you’d want the listeners of this podcast to do, a site to visit, somewhere to go, connect on LinkedIn, what would you like them to do?

Chris McChesney:

Thanks. I guess my name’s on the chart there, if you can remember Chris McChesney and the letters 4DX, chrismcchesney4dx.com is a great website for all the different things, webinars, videos, YouTube. We got a lot of videos on YouTube on just about every topic that we talked about here. My site, 4dx.com, is a great place to go. It’s a hub resource.

Alex Cleanthous:

Chris, what a high energy engaging conversation with you.

Chris McChesney:

Oh, my God, that’s you, man.

Alex Cleanthous:

What a pleasure to have you on the podcast today, my friend.

Chris McChesney:

Alex is doing all my podcasts from now on, folks.

Alex Cleanthous:

This has been great. I thank you so much for coming on the podcast. And I look forward to having another chat sometime in the future.

Chris McChesney:

Let’s do it. Thanks buddy.

Alex Cleanthous:

Thanks for listening to the Growth Manifesto podcast. If you enjoyed the episode, please give us a five-star rating on iTunes. For more episodes, please visit growthmanifesto.com/podcast. And if you need help driving growth for your company, please get in touch with us @webprofits.io.

Adrian Clark

Now that you’re here…

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We helped one company grow from $25M to $190M revenue in 4 years, and we work with challenger brands that want to make a serious impact in their industry and have the resources (and the will) to make it happen.

If you want a growth strategy that leads the way in your industry, find out how Webprofits can help you transform your digital marketing.

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Meet Webprofits

85+ full-time marketers. Offices in Australia, USA and Singapore. Helping challenger brands drive growth since 2006.

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Webprofits is a digital growth consultancy with fully-integrated, end-to-end, agile digital marketing teams that challenger brands can use to drive rapid growth in a complex and fragmented digital landscape.

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