Get a Grip

By Gino Wickman & Mike Paton

*A Book Review*

by Michael C. Gray

© 2018 by Michael C. Gray

Small businesses commonly reach a ceiling where they stop growing and might even start shrinking. Their management members aren't working effectively together and have poor communication. Everyone is busy "doing" what the business does and not on creating a company that works.

Gino Wickman and Mike Paton wrote a book, Traction, outlining a process that business management can follow to clarify the structure of a business, define its vision, define the roles of employees, and work more effectively. Get A Grip is a case study of the management members of a company going through the process, told as a story. This process might seem simple, but it's not easy. Leading and managing a company is really hard work.

An independent facilitator should lead management members when starting this process. The facilitator keeps the group on task and makes sure everyone is heard. A facilitator can defuse dominance asserted by key players for better communication and consensus. When the group can't agree on a decision, an integrator is selected to make the final decision.

The value of weekly, focused meetings is emphasized. The meetings are structured so they don't go into overtime. The good of the company is the overriding value so the group doesn't get mired in personality conflicts or company politics. Any matters requiring extended discussion are placed on an issues list. Only the highest priority issues are discussed in a meeting. When those are resolved, the next highest priority items are moved up.

Having everyone present on time for meetings is a big value. When someone is late, that person is disrespecting the time of the other group members. That person may well be the CEO.

A result of the Traction process should be problems are solved. Too often, problems are discussed, but never resolved. Problems might also never be confronted. One of the tools of Traction is IDS – Identify, Discuss and Solve. The intention is to solve the problem forever.

The core values of the company are defined. The management team must be examples of the core values in action, and all employees should be evaluated on how well they are living the values.

In the process of defining the "right seats" for the company and whether the "right person" is in the "right seat," it may become apparent an employee isn't a good fit for his or her position. Either another, more suitable, place might be found for that person within the company or that person might have to leave.

If your company has reached the point where it has reached a ceiling that you're not satisfied with, the management members aren't working together effectively and problems aren't being solved, read Traction and Get A Grip to start the process of building a company that really works.

Buy the book from Amazon here: Get A Grip: How to Get Everything You Want from Your Entrepreneurial Business.

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