System Execution Episode 4: The Business Initiatives System, with David Mammano
System Execution explores the strategy and system behind today’s successful companies. Systems can make or break a company but here we’ll solve physical, technological, and psychological systems issues by connecting listeners with experts who have overcome these challenges in their business.
David Mammano founded Next Step Education Group in 1995: a multi-media resource for students looking for college, career and life planning. In addition to their college resources, articles, scholarship info and more, Mammano started an online school called Next Step Academy, which provides online courses on career and life skills for teens.
Mammano also recently started a business out of his expert entrepreneurial advice. He is the CEO of the now-established Avonti Entrepreneur Group, where he works one-on-one with CEOs and executive teams.
His system of key initiatives worked really well for his businesses, he says, and he encourages his clients to hone their priorities down to six per year. He defines a key initiative as a big project.
“(It’s) something that you want to get done in a big way,” he said. "For this radio station group that I was working with last week, one of their big key initiatives is to revamp one of their stations. Completely change the format, change everything about it.”
Often, the key initiative is found where the friction is in the company – when different factions aren’t getting along.
To organize all this is simple, Mammano says. Just create a Google Doc.
The columns of the Doc are simple. The first is Key Initiative, where he lists the initiatives for that quarter. The second is Owner: the champion or owner of that initiative. Third is Description: What it is and why it’s there. Fourth column is the due date. Fifth column is called Status: What is the progress, and where is it moving? And lastly, a color code that lets the team know how they’re doing. Red is urgent – that means they’re behind. Yellow is OK. Green means they’re doing great.
Then, when their initiatives sheet reaches certain milestones, it’s important to celebrate, Mammano says.
“That’s something that I recommend companies do,” Mammano says. “Maybe one of your celebrations is we’re going to do a field trip. We’re going to get out of the office all day, we’re going to go to this ballgame, this museum, and we’re going to go out to lunch and it’s just a great thing for the team to do to just take a deep breath with each other.”
Mammano’s next project is starting a podcast for beginning-to-middle stage entrepreneurs.
His closing advice?
“Take the time to have with someone on your team, maybe an outside coach, facilitator. Take a day or two to take a deep breath, do some proper planning about your priorities.”
To contact David Mammano: