Business Operating System #7: Scaling Up

Following the publication of Traction, Verne Harnish came up with “Rockefeller Habits 2.0” and titled it Scaling Up. This is a system directed at strengthening fast-growth companies, organized around four areas: people, strategy, execution, and cash.

In Scaling Up, Harnish updated the One Page Strategic Plan and added a thinking tool he calls the 7 Strata of Strategy, which includes “the word you own in the mind of your customer,” “brand promises,” a “guarantee,” your “one-phrase strategy” that upsets your competitors, your “differentiating activities,” and establishing and measuring your “Profit per X” economic driver, which he borrowed from Jim Collins.

The updated Rockefeller system also includes six new tools, such as the One-Page Personal Plan, the Process Accountability Chart, and a modified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis called SWT, to identify strengths, weaknesses, and trends. A 40-question Rockefeller Habits Checklist is added to ensure your business is functioning at peak levels.

The brand-new section: “Cash” includes seven financial levers to pull, to increase cash flow and profitability aided by a Cash Acceleration Strategies worksheet.

Harnish makes a passing reference to other authors who have copied and, in the process, “over-simplified” parts of the Rockefeller Habits system, which causes them to leave money on the table. Therefore, Scaling Up may have been an attempt to add the valuable meat back onto the bone.


In One Sentence: A complete strategy and execution toolkit for medium-size companies aspiring for fast, cash-efficient growth.