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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Growing Businesses with Execution to Succeed

Six Disciplines Equips Growing Businesses with Execution to Succeed

New, current clients keep the recession where it belongs: external to business operations

Six Disciplines, headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, is empowering their clients to manage and build their business for success, no matter what the economic environment holds.

New customers, including Blue & Co., an Indianapolis-based regional CPA firm providing consulting and certified public accounting services, are being taught to build their business from the inside out with the aid of Six Disciplines.

The Six Disciplines® strategy execution program integrates a repeatable methodology to drive organizational learning, ongoing external coaching to ensure accountability, an execution software system to align daily activities of every person, every day, and community learning to accelerate and sustain business excellence.

“While many small businesses tend to pull back, spend less, and wait things out in an uncertain economy, this approach disrupts current business initiatives and profits, as well as the culture and long-term financial success of the company,” said Gary Harpst, CEO and founder of Six Disciplines. “In times of economic uncertainty leaders must focus on what they can control – their internal business’ strategy and overall execution.”

Entrepreneurs remain unmoved by the current economic climate and refuse to be another negative statistic. Nine out of 10 U.S. small business owners reported seeing opportunities for their businesses in the current recession, and more than 75 percent expect growth, based on Intuit's recent "Get Back to Business" survey. Six Disciplines’ customers, as an entrepreneurial segment, are better equipped to deal with an economic downturn or external pressures.

“Incorporating Six Disciplines into our business allowed us to increase our focus and refine our strategy, regardless of outside economic factors,” said Paul Kramer, CEO Kramer Enterprises and two-year Six Disciplines client. “We’re growing and using the supposed economic slowdown as an opportunity to make sure every employee is on the same page and that our goals are well-defined.”

For businesses to stay one step ahead of the economy and successfully build and manage an internally stable business that can withstand external hardship, Six Disciplines leverages the following framework:

  • Better understand the competitive landscape. Take the time to research how competitors shift strategies and benchmark the activities for key learnings and to identify areas of opportunity to reach new customers.
  • Evaluate the corporate mission and goals. Unexpected and uncontrollable forces will always impact short-term business results. It is important to stay focused on the company’s ultimate mission and goals, regardless of external factors. Outside forces may change, but the mission and goals should remain steadfast.
  • Expand your business/revenue stream. Based on the competitive research and corporate mission/goals, identify new ways to reach a broader client base– while everyone else is tightening their business’ belts, leverage the opportunity to expand into new
  • Invest in technologies that serve long-term purposes of the organization.
    Because of the cost to integrate any technology, the decision to buy shouldn’t be based on a short-term fix. Look ahead several years to ensure that all technologies purchased complement one another for maximum efficiency and productivity.

Harpst created the Six Disciplines program based on personal experience, in addition to research resulting from professionals with more than 50 years combined business experience. His first company, Solomon Software, went through a recession and Harpst was forced to lay off staff.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” he said. “The worst part was I knew it was preventable if I had only planned and demanded more internally of our operations; I needed to run my business tighter from the inside out and keep environmental forces out of my business.”

After running the business for 20 years, Harpst sold his business to Microsoft, which implemented more than 60,000 business management systems in small and midsized businesses. Upon the sale, he vowed to create a methodology to aid businesses in achieving business success consistently at less cost to the business and staff while providing more value to customers. He founded Six Disciplines in 2000 to help small- and midsize businesses create ongoing strategy and success.

Harpst is the author of the top-rated book, Six Disciplines for Excellence: Building Small Businesses That Learn, Lead and Last and, scheduled for a July release, Six Disciplines® Execution Revolution: Solving The One Business Problem That Makes Solving All Other Problems Easier.

About Six Disciplines
Six Disciplines, founded in 2000, has developed the first complete strategy execution program, specifically for small and midsized businesses. The Six Disciplines program integrates a repeatable methodology to drive organizational learning, ongoing external coaching to ensure accountability, an execution software system to align daily activities of every stakeholder, and community learning to accelerate and sustain business excellence. The program is offered exclusively through a growing national network of locally-owned Six Disciplines Centers. Businesses that have implemented the Six Disciplines program include those from the Inc. 500, ISO-9000 certified companies, and a 2007 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award recipient. Visit or

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