Book Review: Double Double
By David Callanan a co-founder of Advisors Excel
Let me share some of the main ideas Cameron presents in Double Double and how we are implementing those at AE.
CREATE A VIVID VISION A Vivid Vision is a written document that describes in graphic detail what you envision your company will look and feel like three years from now. Get out of your office and turn off your distractions. Think about “WHERE” you want your company to be, not “HOW” to get there. When your vision becomes vivid, an incredible alignment takes place, and employees end up being as aligned as a team of fighter pilots.
IMPLEMENTATION At AE, we knew that if we wanted 400 people to move in the same direction, our roadmap needed to be crystal clear. That is where a Vivid Vision became critical.
REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR GOALS AND PROJECTS. Every company will have projects related to revenue, profit and customer service that they tie to measurable outcomes. Once goals are established, you need to determine which projects will make your Vivid Vision a reality.
Categorize projects by importance and priority. Then it's time to vote. Allow the leadership team to vote on the project(s) they think will have the most impact on attaining the overall objective and are the most urgent in terms of the annual goals.
IMPLEMENTATION We do this all the time at AE. For example, we may have 22 projects listed under marketing. The six people on the leadership team each get four votes. They can distribute their votes however they wish—all four votes on one project, one vote on four different projects, etc. I try to limit the projects we commit to annually and focus on the critical few verses the important many.
Once your key projects have been identified, ensuring that a step-by-step action plan is in place for each goal is key. What process has to happen? In what order will the steps be taken? Who will complete each step? When will each step be done? What is the cost? What other business areas are involved? The person who owns the project is responsible for ensuring that all these milestones are thought-out, assigned, and supported to make sure the project gets done.
CREATE A WORLD-CLASS CULTURE A company has to focus on developing a plan to foster and grow a fantastic working environment for its employees. Start with creating a world-class workspace. Be collaborative. Make the workplace a fun and inviting place to be. Connect with your employees and empower them to help the business grow.
IMPLEMENTATION We have been doing this at AE since day one. We have an internal FUN Committee that is tasked with making the office a fun place to work. They plan sports tournaments, holiday parties, tailgates, AE Olympics and more. We bring in motivational speakers and arrange employee trips. We ask our employees what we can do to make their jobs more rewarding. We maximize our 401K match.
We also give employees time off to volunteer in the community, Don't underestimate the power of just hanging out with your employees.
FOCUSED ACTIONS FOR FAST GROWTH This includes focused hiring to make sure you have the best people for the task. It involves focused communication so that everyone in your company can communicate with one another and with the outside world. It also means focusing on reining in your non-productive meetings so that every meeting you have is energetic, focused and productive.
Different Types of Meetings: Quarterly Business Area Review Every business area presents the following:
What was accomplished during the prior quarter.
A plan to drive metrics and get projects accomplished in the upcoming quarter.
Weekly Action Review (WAR) The first 30 minutes of WAR requires that each person gives a quick three to five minutes update that answers these questions
What went well last week?
What didn't go well last week?
What are the three things I'll be working on this week?
For the second 30 minutes, the team reviews the metrics on the dashboard for that business area, looking for areas of concern as well as bright spots. During the final 30 minutes, the group tries to unstick some of the areas that team members were stuck on earlier. IMPLEMENTATION At AE, we hold Leader-Lead Meetings every two weeks. Leadership has individuals who report directly to them present a quick bulletin that outlines the following:
What they accomplished in the prior two weeks.
What's working in their respective business areas.
What could be improved in their business areas.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLLER COASTER RIDE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP In the final section of the book, Cameron outlines the importance of understanding the emotional roller coaster that comes with entrepreneurship. Knowing that there will be highs and lows, and learning to navigate those fluctuations, are important factors for growth. Cameron’s advice: Don’t say it; do it. Stop saying you want to do things. Stop saying you want to try things. Make a commitment to stop saying you're going to do something, and just do it.