The Rockefeller Habits Checklist – the most important list in your business

American athlete and politician Jim Ryun once said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

It’s all very well to take off from the starting block with fire in the belly. It’s the ‘keeping going’ that really matters. And that’s where habits come in, especially in a business that’s growing at an exponential rate.

Within the world-renowned Scaling Up Framework, it’s the Rockefeller Habits that put you back in the driver’s seat and heading in the right direction.

The Rockefeller Habits Checklist has already helped thousands of companies scale up while reducing the time needed to run their business.

The 10 habits have not changed for more than 100 years since John D. Rockefeller implemented them in his business, making him the wealthiest man ever, even by today’s standards.

So what makes the Rockefeller Habits so powerful?

  • A sharp focus on execution and honing the business, driving profitability above all else
  • A systematic approach, working with consistency and repetition.
  • A ready benchmark as to how your business compares with Great businesses.

The Rockefeller Habits can be the ‘circuit breaker’ that stops inertia setting in, maintains momentum and has you heading to the finish line.

Here’s what happens when the 10 Rockefeller Habits are ‘living’ in your business (as explained by Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits)

  1. The executive team is healthy and aligned. Everyone understand each other‘s differences, priorities, and styles.
  2. Everyone is aligned with the #1 thing that needs to be accomplished this quarter to move the company forward.  For true scalability, one goal is made a priority, and make sure everyone is on board to achieving it.
  3. Communication rhythm is established and information moves through the organisation quickly. Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual ‘Meeting Rhythms’ help address the number one challenge people face when working together: communication.
  4. Every facet of the organisation has a person assigned with accountability for ensuring goals are met. One accountable person is assigned to each cell within the organisation and it’s clear to everyone throughout.
  5. Ongoing employee input is collected to identify obstacles and opportunities. Senior leadership and middle managers have engaged their employees in data collection from within the company.
  6. Reporting and analysis of customer feedback data is as frequent and accurate as financial data. Senior leaders are formally talking to one customer a week to gather data about the market and competitors.
  7. Core values and purpose are ‘alive’ in the organisation. Values are discovered, Purpose is articulated, and both are known by all employees. (This habit gives you a baseline for current and future decisions, including when making a hire, sharing praise and giving constructive criticism.)
  8. Employees can articulate the key components of the company’s strategy accurately. Everyone in your organisation knows your brand strategy, including the three main brand promises.
  9. All employees (yourself included) can answer quantitatively whether they had a good day or week. Otherwise, you’re not clear on priorities and KPIs.
  10. The company’s plans and performance are visible to everyone. Scoreboards are everywhere. Goals, metrics and plans are up around the company for everyone to see, keep track of progress and remain engaged.

Knowing the formula is the easy part. Successfully implementing the formula is where things get tricky. 

Over the last 25 years, The Scaling Up Growth Platform has helped tens of thousands of CEO’s achieve their growth goals. The New Zealand based coaches of the Scaling Up Platform help NZ Businesses drive growth and scale.


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