Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Next Three Years For HTG

I was blessed to spend a couple days this week with the HTG team and advisory council in a strategic planning session in Phoenix. Our mission was to step back and take another look at our course and make sure we were on track. It was a great exercise as we turned over every aspect of the HTG program and took a look at where we were, and more importantly, where we were going to be in 3 years.

After all, we continually press our members to do strategic planning. That has to drive every part of our businesses. It comes down to answering the "why" question. Why do we do what we do? What is the driving force - the end game - the desired outcome? Far too many businesses and organizations go through their lifecycle without ever really knowing why. They get up, go to work, take on risk, hire people, go through the motions day after day without ever really answering the question of "why". That is not the case for HTG.

HTG has a very clear answer to that question. It is the same answer we have had for a number of years: "HTG exists to help our members experience business and personal growth driven by execution". That is our mantra - our ONE GOAL - our castle on the hill. We will have succeeded if we are able to get ALL our members into a continual cycle of growth that aligns with their plans. That growth happens in many ways, at different speeds, across many different facets of our members. But the key is to identify where you want to go, to pursue it with passion, and to reach that goal only to set the next one that will define how you live and lead for the next period of time.

HTG identifies the need for that growth to happen in four areas: business, leadership, life and legacy. That is why our FOUR PLANS will continue to be central to helping us achieve our mission. We are not content to help members drive EBITDA alone. We want people to not only succeed in business, but to also have success in their relationships, in their personal lives, and in creating the future impact of their life driven by their legacy. This differentiates us from most other peer programs who focus on driving bottom line income. We don't ignore that need - it is primary in our mission - but to have a fantastic business without a balance - to lose the important relationships in life because of a single focus - well to us that does not define success and certainly will not produce happiness. Without life/work balance the money really is unfulfillng over time.

HTG will continue to drive our groups and members to leverage their peer relationships. The most important part of HTG is the peer group meetings each quarter. The QBR format (quarterly board review) with deep feedback from fellow peers is key to helping our members really grow. It is that accountability that keeps every member on course. We all face plateaus in our growth process. It is a lifecycle when running a successful business and to be able to lay it on the table and allow others to provide their guidance and share their wisdom is very valuable in driving growth. Benchmarking our financials through our partnership with Service Leadership, and building deep profiles and scorecards will take us to the next level in our reporting and feedback focus.

HTG will work more strategically with vendors and our distribution partner (Ingram Micro) to drive business and member success. We have had some great progress with a few of our vendor partners - notably ConnectWise, IBM, Microsoft, SonicWALL and HP - and we will be focusing on finding ways to work hand in hand to build methods to drive business for all. The good news about this environment is that it is very much a shared goal and in everyone's interest to drive more business. This becomes critical as we begin to deal with the transition that cloud computing will bring to our industry. We need deep partnerships and the ability to leverage the intelligence, data and direction of those who define what our industry becomes. Our partnership with Ingram Micro and CompTIA will be a key part of guiding us through the transition ahead.

There are many more details that will be shared in Dallas in April at our HTGALL lunch on Monday, and in the peer group meetings that will happen that week. But the reality is that our direction remains the same. We have more clarity about the details than ever before, and we will review those as we lay the plan out for our members in Dallas. HTG will remain focused on one thing: business and personal growth driven by execution. We are about helping our members go from good to great - to removing the roadblocks to their growth - and providing an environment through our program that allows us to build the premier set of business leaders in this industry. We are well on our way. Our pursuit of that goal will continue and our team is passionate about getting us there. As Edison said, "Vision without execution is hallucination". We are not hallucinating - we are on course and heading for the end zone. We are looking for a few good partners who want to join the journey. Only those with a passion to grow need apply. for the application.

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