Want to Grow Your Business? Learn to Think in 4D!

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On November 3, 2014

ThinkingIn4DAlbert Einstein reportedly said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That’s good advice for growing businesses. Running—and growing—a business isn’t easy or simple. It’s complex. But getting down to the simple essentials of your business is possible—and necessary if you want to grow.

If you want to grow your business, you need to learn to think in 4D. No, this isn’t some weird metaphysical trick. It’s a simple tool to help you identify the dimensions of your company you should be working on. Verne Harnish talks about this 4D concept in Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It . . . and Why the Rest Don’t. Here’s a quick summary.

 Driver: A leader drives the implementation of the Rockefeller Habits (focused on people, strategy, execution, and cash). Leaders need to model their commitment to coaching, learning, embracing new technologies, and the implementation of sound business principles.

 Demands: Leaders have to learn to balance the two—often-competing—demands on their businesses: people and process. It’s not either/or. You have to pay attention to the people side of the business (employees, customers, shareholders, your reputation) without sacrificing the process side of the business (the activities your business is engaged in).

 Disciplines: The keys to excellent execution (one of the “habits”) are simple (but not easy): You have to set priorities; you need to gather accurate data; and establish an effective meeting rhythm (where the data is debated and the priorities are set).

 Decisions: If you want to grow (scale) your business, you have to make certain decisions in four key areas: people, strategy, execution, and cash. If you don’t get these decisions right you won’t be able to maximize your opportunities.

 There’s your “4D Thinking.” So how do you begin? It starts with a simple question: Which of the 4 decisions you have to make (people, strategy, execution, or cash) needs the most immediate attention? That’s where you need to begin!

If you’re looking for a little help with this, ask me about a complimentary 4 Decisions Assessment that’s available on scalingup.com. Where will you start?