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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Six Disciplines Business Excellence Coaching Expands Into Atlanta

ATLANTA, OCT. 23, 2007 — Six Disciplines, LLC today expanded its award-winning national business excellence network by signing a franchise agreement launching Six Disciplines Atlanta. Six Disciplines provides organizations with a complete program that encompasses four elements for enduring business excellence: a repeatable methodology; ongoing external coaching; proactive organizational alignment software to ensure individual and team accountability; and the competitive advantages of a shared learning community.

Six Disciplines Atlanta is led by President Riz Shakir, an Atlanta-based serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience growing and running businesses. Shakir is a certified executive coach and consultant with the Vail Leadership Institute and has completed executive development programs at The Harvard Business School, The University of Chicago School of Business, The Wharton School of Business and The Kellogg Business School of Northwestern University.

“Six Disciplines is a brand and methodology that will compliment the dynamic Atlanta business environment,” said Shakir. “I look forward to helping area companies identify and bypass roadblocks impacting their long-term success, regardless of industry or challenge.”

Shakir is joined by Senior Vice President Larry Smart, a certified business excellence coach who has led high-growth technology companies in turn-around strategies throughout North America and overseas. Smart has been chief executive officer and chief operating officer of international businesses such as Atlanta-based InfoTouch Corp., DL Technology Partners, Inc., Ross Systems, Inc. and Western Data Systems, Inc.

“Entrepreneurial CEOs in Atlanta have made it one of the top business markets in the U.S. because they are constantly looking for ways to innovate and sustain their success,” said Gary Harpst, founder and CEO of Six Disciplines. “It’s an alarming fact that only four percent of businesses survive past ten years. Riz and Larry bring to our network a tremendous combination of expertise, resources and commitment to help top-performing organizations pursue lasting excellence and ensure they sustain growth to be one of the four percent that endures.”

To commemorate the opening, Six Disciplines is sponsoring a series of business seminars:

  • Stephen M. R. Covey, acclaimed author of The Speed of Trust – The One Thing that Changes Everything and former CEO of Covey Leadership Center, will address the importance of trust and how it impacts organizational performance. Covey will be the guest of Six Disciplines and Vail Leadership Institute on Nov. 5 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., including a Q&A session at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Georgia. Event registration and details can be found at
  • To provide insight into the resources and guidance Six Disciplines can provide to organizations, Six Disciplines’ Founder and CEO Gary Harpst will speak at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Dec. 6, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. He will focus on what it takes to pursue enduring business excellence, based on insight from his upcoming book Execution Revolution: Introducing the First Enduring Business Excellence Program. For registration and information, call 404-586-8432.
  • As a primer to the Metro Atlanta Chamber event and to discuss goal setting for businesses, Shakir will host a teleconference with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 1. For registration and information, call 404-586-8432.

Based on years of field testing, client feedback, 100 man-years of research and development and a $20 million investment, the Six Disciplines business excellence program provides organizations with a holistic, enduring approach toward strategy, planning, organizing people and processes, and execution management.

Compared to other business improvement and quality programs like Baldrige, TQM, Six Sigma and Lean, which are prevalent in much larger businesses, Six Disciplines is the first enduring business excellence program designed specifically for small- and mid-sized businesses. Features normally associated with these much more expensive approaches – similar to balanced scorecard, project management, key performance management metrics, integrated activity alignment, and business excellence rating systems – are all elements of the Six Disciplines program.

About Six Disciplines Six Disciplines, LLC, founded in 2000, developed the first enduring business excellence program, specifically for small- and mid-sized businesses. A business excellence program is an organized way to grow a company’s ability to address an ever-changing and ever increasing series of business challenges. The Six Disciplines program integrates a repeatable methodology to drive organizational learning, ongoing external coaching to ensure accountability, a proactive organizational alignment system to align daily activities of every stakeholder, and a shared learning community of like-minded people to accelerate and sustain business excellence. The program is offered exclusively through a locally owned national network. The organization was awarded the 2006 Entrepreneur Magazine Top Gun Franchise distinction and among its clients are several from the Inc. 500, ISO-9000 certified companies, and a Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award finalist. For more on Six Disciplines, visit

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