Episode 77: Making your organization work for you with Simon Severino from Strategy Sprints

What if you could have your organization truly work for you?

Many leaders dream of building an organization that can run without constant attention and input from the founders. One that has the right team in place and the right processes on line to thrive. One that allows every team member the opportunity to step away for a while with the confidence that everything will continue to run as planned.

What if you could build a business in which you have the highest degree of confidence that everything is going to be ok and your organization is moving in the right direction? One that is doing so well that you can finally take some time off to relax or work ON your business instead of in your business.

Those are the types of systems my guest today can help you create. In this episode of Relish THIS I had a great conversation with Simon Severino, the CEO of Strategy Sprints. His company works with organization leaders to help supercharge their systems and create operational efficiencies. He is so confident that his systems produce results that he promises to double your sales in 90 days when working with his team.

Using the 90 Days Sprint mentality they are able to help organizations of all types inject oxygen into their mechanisms to help them grow more into the world.

I think you are going to love this show and I am excited to take on some of these ideas myself.

I hope you enjoy this episode. Here we go.


Do your own time analysis.

Head to https://www.strategysprints.com/tools and download the Daily Flow workbook to track your time and see how you can optimize and improve.

Listen to the podcast here:

Simon Severino: And in the first weeks we started with the daily flow, which is really this time analysis, or every day they arrived down how they’re allocating their time. And then there are two reflective questions in the template. One says of all the tasks that I’ve accomplished today, which one should tomorrow do somebody else better than me.

And so every day you reflect that and in some days you find nothing and in some days you find something and when something pops up three, four times, Well, then you have a pattern there and then you are ready to delegate that. And the second question is if tomorrow I would live more freely and more intentionally, what would I do?

Are you looking for ways to shorten your marketing, learning curve and help your organization survive and thrive? Welcome to relish this, the purpose marketing pod. A show for purpose focused leaders who want to use marketing techniques to fuel their organization’s growth. If you’re a returning listener and you haven’t subscribed already, we’d love to have you also please consider leaving a review wherever you listen to podcasts.

Now here’s your host, author and marketing specialist, Stu swine Ford.

Stu Swineford: Everybody’s still here. What if you could have your organization truly work for. And what I mean by that is, is work in such a way that you have a high degree of confidence that everything is going to be okay. You’re moving in the right direction at all times. And that you can actually take time off from your business in order to refresh and relax, and maybe even work on the business instead of in the business.

That’s what my guest today, his organization really does. Simon Severino is the CEO of strategy sprints, and they typically work with SAS companies, agencies, etc, to help them kind of. Supercharge their systems and develop operational. Efficiencies that enable them to grow exponentially. Um, they, they really make the promise of doubling your revenue in the first 90 days.

And they work in this 90 day sprint mentality and they help organizations of all types, really figure out how to inject that oxygen into their mechanisms, to further their further their growth, and to be able to do more good in the world. It’s a really great episode, just filled with information and action.

Elements that you can apply to your business at any time. I think you’re going to love it. I’m really excited to take on some of these ideas myself. And here we go,

Simon, how are you doing today?

Simon Severino: Me too excited to be here.

Stu Swineford: Yeah, thanks for joining me today. I know you are coming from the EU. Is that right?

Simon Severino: Yes. From Vienna, Austria,

Stu Swineford: Vienna, Austria. That’s fantastic. You are my first overseas guest, I believe. So welcome to the show. It’s later in the evening there, and it’s just as morning here where I am here in the states.

So I really appreciate you taking the time to chat today.

Simon Severino: Absolutely. The world is shrinking.

Stu Swineford: Yes, it certainly is. It’s really becoming a lot smaller and we’re fortunate to have such great technology at our fingertips here to be able to facilitate these kinds of conversations. So you are the CEO of Strategy Sprints. And one of the promises that you make is helping people double their revenue in the first 90 days of working with your crew. I’d love to learn a little bit more about what you do at Strategy Sprints and how you help people kind of achieve that kind of growth so quickly.

Simon Severino: Sure. Especially right now in this. Very dynamic markets, funky markets. There are two things that are really important. One is, you know, the oxygen of the system and the other one is resilience. How can we organize in order that we can react to new situations quickly? And so the first one resilience is really okay, how much oxygen does the system need at any time?

And that is really sales for a nonprofit, has the same situation, like a VC and the same situation as a marketing agency or somebody building software. You need the oxygen in the system and that’s the cash flow and it, and you are asking people for it. Hey, I would like your money. That’s the same situation and it’s not easy.

It’s complex. It’s not always fun. And so many people right now are struggling and we coach those people in with one-to-one coaching in, in making it more enjoyable. To, to ask for money to get money and to manage money because that’s the oxygen of the system so that they can then stay in their zone of genius and do what they really like to do longer and better.

And with.

Stu Swineford: Yeah, that sounds amazing. It’s interesting. We, we all do have a relationship with money and whether that’s, healthy or unhealthy or positive or negative relationship, we, we all tend to have to, um, engage with money and it’s it’s I I’d love to. Here a little bit more about how you help people with that relationship.

What are the, some of the, the coaching, components that you take people through to, um, to kind of adjust or, or help them create a better relationship with.

Simon Severino: So money for everybody, it’s something different rather than you can fill it with, meaning it is per se meaningless. It is a, a container of energy.

It is stored energy stored life force, stored value exchange that can restore it, you know, in, in, in gold, in, in feared money in Bitcoin, in whatever the real thing here is. How do we cultivate relationships that are nurturing, that are impactful because we’re value flows, money flows later on also right.

In a healthy system. Right? So the relationship is at the core of everything. And most people, when they start the 90 days sprint coaching with us, they are doing too many things at once. They’re spread too thin. And so they lose really energy. They are more tired. They are less excited about what they do, and they are less open to receiving information.

They, they have less energy to really listen for a long time. So, what we do is we start with operations. This is a word, well, many peoples, what is operations and operation? It’s the core, the core delivery of whatever you do, whatever your magic is. That’s operation. Like maybe you help, um, and funded people get funded.

Maybe you help regions in the world having higher financial literacy, maybe you help artists find the owners, whatever you do, that’s operations. And so we started with the operations and see, okay, who’s doing what? And what takes energy from you and what gives you energy right now? Write down. How are you using your time to.

And so when we do that today, usually find some low hanging fruits and say, oh, this thing doesn’t give me any energy. It just me, I hate it. Right. I don’t like doing the books. And so we can see, do you really need to do it because you have many options. So, first one, is it important because if it’s not important, we can cut it.

If it is important, we can outsource it external. We can delegate it internal. We can automate it, giving it to software. And so as you can see, we have many options. So we go through, how do you allocate your time? How do we create the flow of your day? And then we help them reflect what gives you energy?

What takes energy? What is high leverage? It’s really moving the mission forward. And what is low leverage is something that can be easily automated delegated. Right.

Stu Swineford: So that’s a, that’s a really great place for pretty much everyone to start is just looking at, at what you do on, in any given day, um, and make adjustments based upon that importance piece.

What’s the, what’s the next step of the, of the process once you’ve kind of stripped away, um, all of the items that are either unemployed or that are unimportant or can be. Given to another, another teammate, whether that’s, like you said, an automated teammate or, or someone in in-house or, or external, um, is it, is it essentially just honing focused at that point

Simon Severino: now that you have identified what you want to get rid of?

Now we have the buy-in for the sprint coach to help you systematize. Okay. Now you’re ready for a bigger. Now you’re ready to hold more complexity because we will help you get rid of that. Either systematize, delegate, outsource, or cut, and now you have 10 to 14 hours more time per week. These hours. We want you to work in your zone of genius on the things that are high leverage for the mission and high leverage things are working on the vision on the culture, hiring and firing.

Performance systems, how we onboard people, how the experience of working with you looks like. And so whenever you identify, okay, I want to get rid of bookkeeping, then we will help you write down. Okay. What’s the process of bookkeeping, right? What is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And so we have you write it down. And put it into one repository.

We call it the playbook where you have your marketing section operation section sales section management section. And then we will put it in there. That’s a management task, sub category financials, sub category admin. And this is where we will put it in. And now as you can see, week by week, you will get rid of stuff.

But the whole organization will become more resilient and more self adaptive because now stuff is written down. So if you go on holiday, the system is still capable of learning, adapting, and acting.

Stu Swineford: Yeah, that’s great. I, I, I love that in terms of the ability to, to make sure that you’ve documented everything.

Um, you know, that’s and I had, a guest on the show, actually, not too long ago, who was all about operations and creating systems and processes. And, and so this is certainly just completely aligned with that idea that if you can get it out of your head, Into a system, um, that it becomes something that’s repeatable and, um, that someone else can take over.

And, and I think that as, as leaders of, um, organizations that tends to be that piece that we miss so much, because it’s just, it’s in our head, we know how to do it. Um, we don’t necessarily do a great job of, of, of documenting those, those processes. Is there once, once everything is on paper, You know, or elect, digitally, um, written down.

What, what do you take people through next, in terms of that, that journey

Simon Severino: now that they have an, an engine and machine working for them? Well, first of all, now they can take long holidays and enjoy life. And also we have no more time to work on the business, which is now really where our expertise comes in.

As strategies printers. Now we can really work on the business of business, which is working on form fit and function of your operations form fit and function of your marketing systems form fit and function of your sales. So, how do you find donors? How do you onboard clients? How do you spread the message?

All these things. We have not a capacity to work with you on higher leverage things and higher leverage things are strategic corporations. Your list of your 100 dream corporation partners, and then really starting working with them one huge per year and 48 small per year. That’s one of the things that we implement with our clients, so that you really have teams out there spreading your message, your mission, because that’s the most elegant way to do sales.

If you want in the modern age. His chest, having people who think that what you are offering is a great thing and they tell others about it,

Stu Swineford: right? Yeah. We call that the inspire phase of the stakeholder life cycle, where you’re, you know, you’re really doing two things. The first one is trying to get repeat business.

So sell more to the people who already love you, and then get those people to evangelize about your organization and go out and spread the word. And, um, you know, tell people, that they need to, um, need to be working with you. So that’s kind of a referral or, or just, um, you know, kind of grassroots, um, message sharing that, that people can engage in.

And I think you’re absolutely right. It’s one of the, the most it’s the lowest hanging fruit really for, for any organization is, is how do you get people to help you spread that, spread that message.

Simon Severino: It’s elegant, it’s cheap and it’s, it’s honest and it’s authentic. So it’s usually one of the sales components that we have implement.

And if they say I don’t have a network, we even run masterminds with up to 65 people in there where they can find their referral partners via, via us.

Stu Swineford: That’s amazing. It sounds like you have a pretty, well well-oiled machine there that you’re running as well as, um, a really great system for enabling people to achieve some growth in that first 90 days in your organization.

Are you, do you typically work with people on an ongoing basis or, or is it all about that?

Simon Severino: We improve things in 90 days. And after this 90 days, they have all systems in place and the systems they keep working. So they don’t need us after 90 days. Really some, they want to use our referral teams, our masterminds, and then the.

They hang around for the masterminds because that’s still valuable for them. And they’re a year long subscription to our masterminds, but most people, they do a 90 day sprint and then they have an engine that’s working and they continue on their own.

Stu Swineford: Right. What are some of the pitfalls or the ways that, that people can engage with you and, and not see the success that they would normally like to achieve during the, during the course of that initial 90 day sprint?

Simon Severino: One thing that you need in place is a CRM. The CRM is, it sounds boring, but it’s really where all the magic comes to. Because it’s the place where the follow-up takes place, where you’re, and we have defined sales and impact as being relationships and the quality of those relationships. So you need one place where these relationships really get cultivated reflected and moved forward.

And that’s your CRM. So if there is one thing that would break a sprint is a team doesn’t have, or doesn’t use. It takes really one hour to implement a CRM system, whatever tool you pick. It’s fine. Right? The principles are just having a pipeline, defining the stages of the relationship with you, you know, and awareness and interest stage ready, ready to work together, working together, and a retainment stage and a referral.

Or corporation stage, and then you have yours, you have your faces mapped out, and now it’s about leaving them everyday and everybody in the team really using that. So that, again, it, it is, it becomes a system. It becomes a habit that everybody really wants to elevate relationships, via conversations, and these conversations get really managed and nurtured and taken.

Stu Swineford: How do you help leaders with that? That challenge that, that I know many struggle with, which is the letting go piece where, um, you know, particularly in the, in startups and early phase, um, organizations, the. You know, kind of the, the visionary or CEO type person has done everything through, um, you know, through the course of, or during the course of, of the initial phases of, of business.

Um, what, what does your team do to help people with the idea that, that letting go of some things, um, or all the things is, is a valuable, a valuable exercise.

Simon Severino: Yeah. That’s why it takes 90 days. in the first weeks we started with the daily flow, which is really this time analysis, or every day they write down how they’re allocating their time.

And then there are two reflective questions in the template. One says of all the tasks that I’ve accomplished today, which one should tomorrow do somebody else better than me. And so every day you reflect. And in some days you find nothing and in some days you find something and when something pops up three, four times, well, then you have a pattern there and then you are ready to delegate that.

And the second question is if tomorrow I would leave more freely and more intentionally, what would I do? This is usually where you get to remind that of your dreams and bigger things that you wanted to do. Oh, I wanted to write a book. All I wanted to visit in the pal. The things that you usually forget in the day-to-day right.

They pop up again. And so this is the process. We have three habits, daily habit, weekly habit, monthly habits, and the strategy sprint method is really just doing these three things. The daily habit is writing down how you allocate your time and reflective, reflecting on those two questions before in the evening.

When you, when you close down your working day, you reflect on these two questions and you write down the flow of tomorrow. That’s the one. Right. So when you come in tomorrow morning, you have your flow designed according to your needs, right? And then the weekly habit is getting all the important numbers in marketing numbers, operations numbers, sales numbers reported in a simple and yet helpful way.

And then the monthly. Habit is checking. Are we really moving the vision forward in the right way with the right people in the right, with the right formats and then that’s the monthly. So if you do the daily, weekly, monthly habit, basically you have not. Feedback loops in place that wherever you are and whatever you do, you will improve week by week.

You will learn more about you. You will estimate better, you will make use of your time better. And so basically you can only move forward from there. And that’s this print seven days print, seven days, print, seven days print. And every week you get 1% better because you are learning about yourself.

Stu Swineford: Yeah, that’s that’s super cool.

Um, I know that I have, as part of my daily practice, I have a reflection, but I like the idea of adding this sort of aspirational component to it. Like what, what would make things. You know, w where do I really want to go? And what would, what would make things better? Um, if I were to, to be thinking about that kind of aspirational piece, um, that’s a really cool addition to, to kind of a daily reflection.

Um, so it sounds like you kind of have some pieces from, you know, from some different frameworks. Was there, is there a, um, Yeah. Something that you, that, that you relied on early on to kind of develop your, your systems. Um, it has kind of some components of traction or EOS, um, in it it’s, it feels like

Simon Severino: of course, and, Gino, weak men, he got this from his mentors and their mentors called it for.

They’re mentors. We are all embedded in a very long stream of, of management experience. The teacher of my teacher was Peter Drucker. And so he was the first one who took the concept of management really seriously to say, Hey, this is a craft. This is something that we can. Process, we can make this a habit.

We can understand what is management and we can improve it. And since Peter Drucker many great minds like, yes, Gino Wickman, definitely Verne, Harnish. Um, who else did we have? Jay Abraham, many great minds have taken this thing. To the practice, right. And have done thousands of thousands of hours in implementing these principles of what is management.

And yes, we are informed by all of these things. I am 20 years now on the ground coaching my clients, they have all had coaches and mentors, etc. So they, they had tools. I had tools and we probably brought together the best of the last 20 years of whatever was working in the field.

Stu Swineford: That’s awesome. I, yeah, I, I really like this blended approach as well as, um, just the understanding that there are very few, there are very few things that are truly unique in terms of, of how, you know, what works for, for a business, um, you know, business people who had businesses for, for.

Yeah, literally thousands of years. Right? So, um, you know, those practices that, that work tend to work over and over again and, and just developing your own system that, that takes, you know, those components of other systems and, and, and leverages those is, is certainly something to, to really look at, um, and understand one of the things I found with Gino Wickman versus Verne Harnish was essentially they had.

A very similar approach to there to, you know, different methodologies. And if you, if you kind of break them down, um, it’s, it’s all doing the same thing, which to me makes it. Makes me feel a lot more confident about just choosing one or the other of those particular systems or any of the other kind of business operations systems that are out there because, you know, they’re, they’re effectively doing the same things.

They’re just doing it a little bit differently. Um, so it’s cool to see how, how we can all kind of take the, the pieces of, of a system and make them work for us. So in that 90 days in that first 90 day sprint, what w what should the outcomes, the people, um, you know, should, should be setting their sights on?

What, what are the, what are the goals of those sprints, aside, aside from the, um, you know, kind of the, the revenue impacts, are there any other takeaways that people should be expecting when they work with.

Simon Severino: Yeah, the goal is to enjoy your business again, to really have a great life and your business being a vehicle to create meaning freedom and wealth every month for everybody.

That’s the ultimate goal of, of his print coach and their client. How do we get there first by freeing up time? So you have to regain your time out of the weeds. And then with that time, improving form fit and function of the sales system form fit and function of the marketing systems, because this is where you, you oil the machine and you make it really resilient.

If you look at the things that are really resilient right now in the world, for example, Bitcoin, there is nothing that is not embedded. In the organization, you can remove every single person, the founder, nobody knows who is the founder. Nobody cares. Who’s the founder, right? There is a pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, and probably it’s, it’s a team of people, but nobody cares.

And it’s really, absolutely not important. Why? Because the governance structure is resilient. There are ton of healing mechanisms and the healing mechanisms in the. Are all built in by design. That’s what I mean, working on the business. So whoever created that six pages PDF did that amazing work. And this is something that everybody of us should study.

It’s just the first half of a page is really important then. And then the rest is. It’s just how to implement it. the F the first six sentences are there is a problem in the world. It’s double spending. We have a proposal how to do that, how to solve that. And the proposal is a peer to peer exchange system that is immutable and freely accessible to all.

That’s it. Five sentences that have created something that will probably be in 15 years. The new store of value for the world and the first global and inclusive monitoring system, it’s five sentences and everybody can go on holiday and it still works. Right. You know, and, and this is the, the most resilient organization on the planet.

It can be banned in China. It still works. It becomes. In Texas, for example, and in other countries that’s stronger. So you want to have these principles in your organization, whatever your organization is, there is the purpose of the organization. And then there are resilience loops in there. Self-healing mechanisms and self learning mechanisms, and you have them distribute.

It’s not you and everything is on you. And if you, if you sleep, nothing happens. And if you go on holidays, everything breaks apart.

Stu Swineford: Right? Right. So you and your team really help help your clients figure out that statement, that that then becomes this kind of driving mechanism behind, um, behind what their. The value that they’re bringing to the world. Is that accurate?

Simon Severino: Yeah, it’s distilling the magic that is usually created by the passion of the founders and then extrapolating it from the founders so that the founder moved from being the star to being the galaxy shine.

And you can touch the magic in every conversation with every time. Member, and this is the moment where you get more attractive to the outside and more and more people we want to be in your team because they can make it their own. They say, Hey, this is my mission. I identify with this. This is me.

Stu Swineford: Yeah. I mean, you’re touching on so many things that are just kind of.

Really important for any organization to have and, and, and facilitating, um, you know, those organizations that may have gotten a little stale to kind of get back to that passion that they had when they, when they first started up, um, It’s really interesting. What, what kind of time commitment do you typically recommend people have when they start working with your team?

during that, that first 90 days,

Simon Severino: It’s really intense. It will be the most intense project of that quarter. And so we pick our clients based on if they can really allocate that intensity because the owner will need one hour per day for the next 19. But there are team one person from operations, one from marketing, one from sales, they will need four hours per day each into doing that stuff because it’s a sprint.

It’s not talking about things. It’s building things and testing things and improving things. So in one session, we will talk about the vision and the. The next four hours, we’ll be building the prototype testing three times and then coming back with the numbers again, reflecting based on these numbers and then defining the next direction.

So it’s the most intense thing that will happen to them. And that’s right. And that’s why it works because you know, everybody’s on fire and is passionate and the, you can feel it from, from the far that these teams.

Stu Swineford: Right. What did it, what happens with smaller teams? That, for example, if you’re, if you’re, you know, more of a startup organization and you don’t have, you know, let’s say you’re sitting in all of those seats, is, is that an organization that will be ready for, to, to engage with your, with your systems or do people need to have a more, um, refined, um, mature organization with.

Yeah, with multiple, um, the teammates in place.

Simon Severino: We have many solopreneurs doing this and they have maybe just one assistant. It’s one person in one assistant, or they’re doing impactful things in the world. And now they realize, oops, I am now the bottleneck here. I’m the obstacle to our growth. So how can I multiply them?

How can I become from being the dancer? How can I become the density? And so we started week one, they write down how they allocate their time and then they identify, Ooh, I should delegate this. Ooh. I want to automate that. Ooh, I want to outsource that. Right. So we help them identify what to outsource, delegate next.

And so from week to week, they start peeling off that. Hero mode and becoming more of the dance floor where the party happens. Right. And, um, and so week by week, they, they start bringing in more people. And at the end, for example, one very cool solopreneur who just printed in the last week. He said, I’m not ready for a COO.

And then he hired, um, the first person who became his C O O. And then he was really relieved. He said it was the first time I can imagine somebody else runs my business. Right.

Stu Swineford: And that’s amazing. I think that, that, you know, getting to that piece, you’re getting to that place rather. Um, Of freedom where you do, you know, it just opens up so many more choices where you can, you can really focus your time on, on those items that, that matter.

Most, I know a lot of executive directors, they tend to get, um, Kind of caught up in, in day-to-day operations when they, you know, the real value that they bring to the organization is, um, let’s say fundraising and particularly, you know, big ticket fundraising. Um, and so just enabling people to, to see that.

And figure out ways to enable themselves to stay focused on those things that matter to the most for their, for their businesses. Um, that, that seems like such a win, um, That it’s, it’s really cool to see how to hear how your, your team is helping people achieve that from a, from a nonprofit standpoint, I know that you, you focus mostly on S on SAS and agencies and, um, and those types of organizations.

But when you look into the nonprofit space, where, where do you see most, um, most opportunity lying in a, in an initial.

Simon Severino: Every platform needs has different stakeholders. So for example, we have worked with a venture capital platform. We wanted to have a very distributed system. They have founders in there, they have investors in there and they have experts.

So you have three different groups of people with different needs. And they needed to become the platform that brings all of these together without paying any single of them, but making it possible for the people to exchange needs and exchange value in a non-monetary form. So they have created a token that is sweat equity and these, um, codifying the transactions I give you time and I give you knowledge.

How can we codify? They worked on this in a sprint and other, another platform helps, creating social impact. So they are globally and every country did a sprint in terms of how can we get our message across better? Because we hate sales, we hate marketing, but we have to get our message across. And so how can we make that something that it’s true.

And honest and enjoyable.

Stu Swineford: And so your team helped them figure out how to, how to systematize that, that component of their, I guess that would be their marketing and in fact, um, yeah, found

Simon Severino: racing. Yeah. Okay. How will we, how do we, how do we systemize fundraising and how we do we make that repeatable?

Because fundraising was basically just having lunch with people.

Stu Swineford: Yeah.

Simon Severino: And, and it wasn’t bringing in enough oxygen for, for a long-term survival. So they needed more oxygen in the system, so, so that they can have impact. And so when you go to somebody and say, I want your money to make the world better. This is a sales situation. So we went over the whole process. What’s your sales technique?

Um, how do you document it in the CRM? What’s the follow-up what’s the next action. How can you make it easier for them to get it and to do it? What you want them to do? And then what do, what do you do with the relationship? How do you go deeper into that relationship and create a ton of value? Okay, thank you for your $30,000.

Bye-bye right. But how do you, how do you nurture that relationship?

Stu Swineford: Wow. And you get to that in, in that, in that first 90 days, that’s, that’s fantastic. And, um, I’m intrigued for sure. It’s, it’s really an interesting idea on how to, how to help people change their behaviors. And, and I love that you have, a system full for that.

In fact, that’s just great. How, how many. How many different people are on your team when somebody engages with, with, with strategy sprints, what, what should that expectation be in terms of, of, um, you know, is it just a single point of contact with, with one coach or do you have a variety of different, teammates kind of helping with, different aspects of, of one sport?

Simon Severino: Yeah. So the clients, they get one sprint coach that has exactly that experience and that superpower that they need. For example, a SAS company gets somebody who has scaled a SAS business, a, a company who needs a funding, a superpower. We get somebody who has done. With great results. And so the cool thing of having the strategy sprints team around the globe and having certified strategist, prince coaches, basically in every time zone is that I am now able and back to being the dance floor.

Right. I have so many dancers and I’m able to find the song and the dancer that fits. And that’s the cool thing, because in my old model I had consultants and I had to push consultants onto a project. Hey, you have time, you do the project, right. It was the worst model ever, but traditional consulting still operates that way.

And it is so broken in many ways. So what I have now is a much smarter system for everybody because the right problem gets the right superpower. To be solved and, um, and that’s, and that’s a win-win win. And then my job is to hold that energy, to hold the, and nurture that platform and to make the platform inviting and, and evolving and again, having self-healing and self-learning mechanisms in there so that we grow with, with the challenges of the world, we stay sharp, we stay humble, we stay learning and that we can solve.

People where they really needed.

Stu Swineford: Oh, that’s great. Well, when you recognized the challenges that you were experiencing with your team, what was that breakthrough moment for you where you, where you, what was that aha moment in terms of the, you know, just putting consultants on, on jobs based upon their availability, um, what, what turned the corner for you?

Simon Severino: The first model was broken because they were on payroll. And so when you have a ton of people on payroll, you start getting Lardy and you want to be lean. And these funky years, these. Have have shown everybody how important it is to have lean. So instead of having fixed costs, you want to have variable costs.

The more work you have, the more costs, but it’s project related costs. The less work you have, the less costs. That’s a resilient, um, P and L that’s a resilient company. Okay. You can scale it up. You can scale it. So the first model was broken because it was Lardy. And even with in months with less projects, we had still huge costs because exactly, and that’s the most stupid way to run a company.

And I think in, in, in 2022, we don’t need to do that anymore. So that, so that model, I have shifted from. taking basically every fixed costs and making it a variable cost. Okay. No headquarters, no payroll, autonomous, all the old people opting in to projects because they are. On. It’s not because it’s the only way they can earn a living.

Stu Swineford: Gotcha. Gotcha. That’s a, that’s great. That’s a really cool way to look at that system and allow it to be, it’s so much more flexible. It, you know, it can expand and contract as needed as opposed to being so, you know, so.

Simon Severino: And that’s a living system and you know, the markets are living system. The markets are people and people change, their life, changes their needs, change.

Your organization needs to change with them. So you’ll need to be expandable and contractable, otherwise you will be too stiff. People will feel it. And they say, oh, you just. Your your, your stuff on me, your solution. Right? So that was the first model. The second model I said, all right, let’s do the network.

It’s just very autonomous, great consultants. They just want to come together to have better clients better. Right. And that was the network thing. It, it solved the first two problems of the fixed costs and of being largely, but it created a new problem that in a network you don’t have enough cohesiveness and you don’t have enough commitment.

It’s too low. If you are in one network, you are usually also in seven other networks, the energy is lost, right? And when you need them, they don’t have the time because they have not allocated capacity for that. So the network model was also broken. And as a, how can I have a network with more commitment, with more quality control, with more capacity planning?

How can I bring the best of both worlds of the legacy world and of the. Of the network and autonomous world project-based world without the bureaucracy and the large and this loaders loneliness. Right. And, and that was completely unknown to me. So for a couple of months, I was wondering, and just thinking in nature, thinking, and then it came at once and says, It’s a franchise model.

It’s a certification model. Create a course, teach the people. They are autonomous. They run their own business. But on top of that, they want to have that project that is exactly their super. That’s a certification model. And then I was walking by a McDonald’s is a, Hey it’s a franchise model. Their business model is a franchise model.

Every country has a McDonald’s every, and the, and they are all operated according to the same rules, but they operate autonomously in their own region. Right. And so I was like, what if that could apply to my work? And then we did that. So now every Monday there is the coach meeting. All coaches come together, but then every other day of the week, they operate in their own country and they crush it there.

And on top of that, the systems that they learn with us on Monday, they also apply it to building their own businesses. They run their own platforms and software, etc, businesses, and it all flows. Together. So, we are a frontier team. We’ll learn from each other, but we are not the bosses of each other.

Everybody’s an autonomous wonderful being, bringing in their superpowers.

Stu Swineford: just sounds like a really cool model. I know that you need to get to a meeting. Um, so I would love to continue our conversation, but I know that you need to go. Um, and I’ve had such a great time chatting with you and learning more about your systems as well as how people can kind of apply this idea to their own businesses.

How can people find more, find out more about you and getting, and getting.

Simon Severino: I have distilled the last 18 years of this into a book it’s called strategist prints. You can buy it everywhere. You can buy books. And if you want to explore more, how we can coach you to be more in your zone of genius and get rid of the rest, hop over to strategist, prince.com and click.

Click, any buttons that bring you on a call with us and I’m happy to answer your questions.

Stu Swineford: Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. I like to end all of my conversations with an action ask. I love having discussions and talking about things, but at the end of the day, I want people to take action.

And if you had to ask people to do one thing after listening to our show today, what would that thing be?

Simon Severino: Do your time analysis. So download this spreadsheet. It’s on strategysprints.com/tools. It’s the daily flow. So strategysprints.com/tools. You’ll download the daily flow. And you’ll start writing down how you have spent two days’ time, and then you fill out the tool’stour reflective questions.

What will you delegate? And what if you would live more freely and do that for three days? That’s my ask.

Stu Swineford: Well I will commit to doing that for three days. I already tracked my time and have this in mind that I really like the mindset shift of how can I, you know, have this aspirational piece of it as well.

So I will commit to that. I hope that all of the listeners will commit to that as well. And I have just had a really fun time chatting with you today, Simon. Thank you so much for being on.

Alright. Bye-bye

Stu Swineford: And there you have it. Another great episode of relish this. Thanks again for listening. You can find past episodes of the show@relishthis.org. And remember if you liked what you heard today, please subscribe and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. For more information on. Grab your free copy of my book.

Mission Uncomfortable. How nonprofits can embrace purpose driven marketing to survive and thrive. Get your copy now@missionuncomfortablebook.com. Thanks again for listening. Come back next week. Won’t ya.