10 Jan What We’re Reading Now – Get a Grip: How to Get Everything You Want From Your Entrepreneurial Business, by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton
Review By Grant T. Smith
You are like me, an entrepreneur, and your business has been successful so far, but:
- It seems to be less fun than it used to be.
- Now you spend more time troubleshooting than getting things done.
- The team or teams are never achieving their goals, if they even have them.
- Frankly, at times you think of packing it all in.
If that rings true, you may want to pick up this book and have a read.
This book is written in the fable style of some business books, which means the book is a piece of fiction written about a group who work with a consultant to implement a new business system. In this case Eileen and Vic have been working together for a number of years and the book starts after a fight between the two of them, just as they are hitting rock bottom for enjoyment and progress. A friend introduces Eileen to Alan, who consults on a business system known to create traction.
I want to be clear that I picked up this book because of the “fable” nature. It was late in December and a friend, thanks Brian, had recommended the system and two books: this one and Traction, by Gino Wickman. I was feeling a bit behind and generally these books are an easy read. I thought I could read it in an evening and give an account on its value for this newsletter. Well it turned out to be a fairly big read.
One of the great things about this sort of fictionalised rollout of a business strategy is that the players do what you ask. If the writer wants a crisis, a crisis pops up and if she wants a character to realize the folly of his ways, he has no choice but to do what her pen dictates. Things work out under every system when the creator writes the narrative. There is always a tendency, as a reader, to accept the challenges and obstacles as written, but the reader needs to challenge the assumptions and look for the biases.
The book has a lot of moving parts and the system’s cornerstone is simplicity. Sorry, say that again. Yes, the cornerstone of the system is simplicity. Yes, there are a lot of moving parts. If I have a criticism, it would likely be that one would need to spend a lot of time to (borrowing from the top words of 2017) unpack the information, if you decided to roll out the system in your own company.
I want to admit that I was engaged in this book from beginning to end. I was marking paragraphs and searching the book to remind myself again what “IDS” or “GWC” stands for (among many other acronyms). While reading, I was able to apply a number of insights directly to my work. I was constantly:
- Revising meeting formats to run effectively and on time
- Determining best ways to communicate expectations for staff culture
- Developing core practices for underperforming areas
- Building scorecards that really work
I also am not sure that the excitement and possibilities will ever get from the page to the stage (as they say in theatre). But, as I so often do, I have a proposition for you. Go back. Right now and read the first four bullets in this article. If they resonate with you do me a favour, right now. Call my direct answering machine 778.375.3111 and say, “Grant, I want to get traction.” Then leave me your name and number – I will call you back as soon as I can and we can work together to move forward. You can also email me – but make the phone call.
2018 is going to be the best year ever.