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The Business Initiatives System

Episode 4 Key Initiatives Systems.png

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:

Email: david@davidmammano.com

Website: http://davidmammano.com/ 

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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.