Aligning the Herd One Gazelle at a Time

Aligning the Herd One Gazelle at a Time

“Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless” is a quote taken from Scaling Up: The Rockefeller Habits 2.0 by Verne Harnish. This book has inspired a business and leadership event that ABG Capital has been fortunate enough to attend; the Gazelles ScaleUp Leadership Summit.

It’s been three months since eight of our leaders attended Gazelles 2016 ScaleUp Leadership Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Seventeen dynamic speakers and authors captivated our team by sharing their wisdom, experience, and talent for success.  We gathered for discussions throughout the conference spending time reviewing notes, sharing ideas, and reflecting on strategies and initiatives that would best benefit our organization in the short term. Upon returning to the office, our leadership team agreed to meet once a week to hold ourselves accountable, narrow down our top take-ways, and decide on the one big rock or number one priority for the remainder of the year. Together we came to a similar conclusion of what that one big rock is and what we feel is needed to be even more successful, creating alignment through shared consciousness and empowered execution.

The first step in this process is to share the plan with each employee and identify opportunities for all employees at all levels in the organization to make decisions and solve problems by enabling rather than directing. This concept of engagement through empowerment leads to a “team of teams” approach to foster transparency and allow for stronger communication and understanding of the company’s strategic plan. The execution portion of ScalingUP pinpoints three critical components that must happen throughout the organization in every team; priority, data, and rhythm.



Promoting trust and purpose with and between teams will contribute to bottom-up results from daily interaction. Our company initiative for quarter three and four is to ensure that each team is meeting regularly to define its big rock for the week, month, and quarter.  We’ve been instrumental at achieving improved communications resulting in better efficiency and enhanced teamwork between departments.

Align Today is a tool we use to keep everyone in the loop by sharing a one page plan available for all to see, update, and work together toward aligning department initiatives with the company’s common goal or BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal). We recently outsourced Centric Performance to conduct employee surveys and management review meetings for selected teams to help identify each employee’s understanding of his or her role and how it contributes to the common goal of the company. Leadership is serving others and bringing out the best in people.  It’s important to rally the emotional connection and understand the importance of what each employee values to truly have an engaged staff who wants to develop individually and succeed as a team. Our plan is to involve the employees in designing a plan for their own critical numbers and KPIs to create buy in, appreciation, accountability, and involvement toward the common goal.

As you can see, the quote we began this with has a lot to do with the processes and tools we have injected into our environment. Routine matters. Let’s face it–if you’re moving without a routine, your priorities are most likely scattered and you have no analytical evidence to uphold any of your efforts. Even more important, your goal, or “big rock” that every employee and department should be focusing on as a priority, should be backed by rhythm. The rhythm within your day-to-day tactical progress is your routine–that “groove” or effortless pattern you get into when you master your priorities and data.

We realize that growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together in synchrony. If there’s one key we continually take away from the Gazelles it’s that our people are our rhythm. They are the force that continually pushes us toward success. If we cease to invest and cultivate in our employees, then there will be no perpetual development. All of our growth depends upon their activity within our organization. Activity that sprouts innovation.

The Geese of ABG Capital

ABG Capital GeorgeIn one of our Just another Friday at ABG blog posts, we talked a little bit about the geese we have living in the front pond outside our office. This is the start of many posts that will walk you through the past, present and future of the Geese of ABG Capital.

When we moved to this building in July 2007, there was only a single goose living in the pond that we named George. We all thought he was a pretty cool guy, too! He never seemed to have a care in the world and just walked around looking for some attention. He reminded us of the kind of friend that everyone has who always wants to hang out and do nothing, while eating your food and drinking your beer. George stuck with us all through the summer and fall, but after he left for the winter, we never saw him again. We did, however, have a new set of geese grace our pond. Those two geese laid 6 eggs that spring and when they came back after winter, they had brought their mates back with them. That meant that we had 12 geese in our pond. When it came time for those 6 sets to have babies, it seemed as if they would take turns laying eggs because there was always just one nest. From this point on, their goose family grew just as much as our ABG Capital family did.

Now that you know a little bit of the history of these geese, we need to tell you about what it’s like when the babies start exploring their new home. It’s really an incredible site to see right outside our windows! You may know what to expect from watching it on the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet, but trust us when we say it’s a completely different experience watching it in person. They would all line up, the mother in the front, the father bringing up the end, and walk around the pond, the parking lot and the building. The parents were training them to stay within the parameters of their home and you could tell the babies were understanding their training. Every now and again we’d see a little one testing his boundaries and then retract when the mother started to notice.ABG Capital Baby Geese

Once the baby geese became familiar with their surroundings, it was time for them to start learning how to fly. This may be our favorite part of having the geese around the building. Seeing them learn to fly is just like you can imagine it; jump a little, *fall*, jump a little and flap the wings, *fall*, jump a little higher and flap a little harder, *SOAR*. Hopefully this year we can get videos of this to share with you!

Another adorable story that comes with watching these baby geese grow up is when they first see their reflections. It’s much like watching a baby look at himself in a mirror for the first time except instead of a mirror, the baby geese would use windows or bumpers. Once they saw their reflections they went a little crazy and even tried fighting with it!

We don’t want to share all of our stories with in you in one day, so check back next week for another post! We’ll tell you about the not so cute times we’ve had with these geese and some of these some of those stories are not pretty…