As part of our work to discover new tools and thought processes for running a purposeful business, we encountered the work being done by Mike Rose, CEO of the Rose Group and Author, ROE Powers ROI. We sat down with Mike to learn more about the book and how increasing the return on energy in business can create tremendous impact.
1) Let’s begin by talking about yourself, so our readers can get to know you better. Could you briefly describe your life journey until you wrote the ROE Powers ROI™?
By age nine, it was apparent that I had a knack for working with people, and I began taking on significant responsibilities. My first real job involved running the cash register, and my father taught me how to make every customer feel special. While most kids got their lessons in good manners in their parents’ living room, I learned my manners in the form of customer service skills at my parents’ business.
After seeing how hard my parents worked in their business, I decided to never go into business for myself. I entered college as a pre-med student eventually graduating with a degree in Biochemistry. After deciding to go into research and development instead of medical school, my “e-gene (entrepreneurial gene) ” kicked in and I started is business in 1997. After 10 years of business and a lifetime of lessons and experiences, I began to outline a methodology that would bring clarity to complexity.
As a business owner, consultant, and advisor, I have had the advantage of observing both successful and failed businesses and comparing results from the experience. I believe I bring my own empirical, science-based approach to de-complicate business utilizing the ROE Methodology. My ability to bring clarity to complex business jargon is so powerful that it serves well as a foundational tool to better understand and process business today.
2) Now about the book. What new information does ROE Powers ROI offer and why is it relevant to Small Giants?
ROE™ is a methodology developed to get the right people into the right seats and maximize your return on investment. Three distinct roles compose any successful organization, and those roles are determined by “Ways” of thinking and communicating: Way One, the visionary; Way Two, the strategist; and Way Three, the tactician.
Way One: Chief Vision Officer
The Way One is the company’s idea architect. Focused on “the bigger picture,” Way Ones provide the vision and set the business objectives.
Way Two: VP of Vision
Way Twos then take the rough sketch of the Way One’s idea and develop the strategic plans that align with the vision and the business objectives in order to bridge the idea to action.
Way Three: Vision Coordinator
Integral to any company are the Way Threes—the action officers, the people who perform the tasks that accomplish the steps that make up the strategy and bring everything to fruition.
Sound too simple? The ROE Methodology has been shared with 1000s of people over it’s development lifecycle, almost five years now, and people get the ‘ah-ha’ moment 100% of the time. This powerful methodology will change the way you think.
3) Could you give us an example out of your book that reflects your main idea?
Imagine sailing a ship back in the era of exploration. It‘s one thing to say, ―I want to sail beyond that horizon,‖ but to actually make the trip, it takes bravery and the conviction that whatever is beyond the horizon is a prize worth seeking. However, to make it a successful trip, one must have a plan of action. This begins with devising a strategy. What sort of ship could make it that far? What kind of crew is needed? What kind of supplies will we need to get there? Will there be a banquet there welcoming us, or should we pack extra sandwiches?
A captain cannot meet all of these demands on his own. He needs a navigator to tell him which way to turn the steering wheel in order to stay on course. He needs a first mate to gather and command a crew that will in turn run the ship. Together as a whole, all positions work to reach that vision beyond the horizon.
But what if you have a disgruntled crew? What if your navigator doesn‘t have a clear understanding of your vision? Not only will you go off course, you run the risk of mutiny as well.
Return on Energy is a way of ensuring that your ship stays on course so that everyone may benefit from the riches of discovery. ROE is represented by three basic tenets: vision, strategy, and tactics—or you could say ideas, plans, and actions.
In our world today, we are inundated with terms that don‘t really make sense. You start to wonder if they‘re just throwing words together to sound more officious or even to veil their own confusion.
For example, one that I hear a lot: ―Strategic tasks.
Well, which is it? Strategy or a task?
Is this plotting a course with a sextant or something to do with cleaning a sail at this moment? Is this plotting a way to increase sales by 20 percent by the end of the quarter or doing a follow-up customer service call?
It‘s one or the other. Too many people get inundated with these words and concepts and the responsibilities they imply when really it can all be broken down into three simple seats: Way One, Way Two, and Way Three. Understanding the different roles and characteristics of each seat leads to greater ROE.
Return on Energy is a translational tool to decipher all the potentially great and not-so-great information at our fingertips today. ROE puts ideas into action by enabling the right thinking and communication with the right person. It allows not only for clear communication within the flow of command, but overall success and an increased ROI like never before. ROE is not a fad marketing tool, but one that will change your business with amazing results.
4) In a short sentence, what kind of small business owner should read your book? What kind of advice should they be looking for ? Or what kind of problem should they be looking to solve?
Small business owners who are trying to grow or scale their businesses. Especially ones who value not just their personal development, but the personal development of their staff. I believe if you value personal development, you will have a higher tendency to mentor. Mentoring is a key initiative of ROE.
5) What’s the first thing you would like a small business owner to do after reading your book?
Everyone exposed to ROE naturally has two reactions;
1. They assess themselves and
2. They assess those they live and work with.
They have a better understanding of what state of mind they are in during a particular situation. I had a client, a CFO of a 500+ location national fast growing franchise say to me, “I walked in to my VP of Finance’s office the other day and he said to me…”I can’t talk right now, I am in Way Two mode!”” He instantly understood the meaning and slowly backed out of his office.
About your work as a consultant:
6) What is the biggest mistake you see small business owners making in this area?
Being a Way Three thinker in a Way One seat. If you are a Way Three thinker in a Way One seat, your business is either in very early stage development or you have not been able to surround yourself with the right thinkers in the right seats.
7) What suggestions would you give them to improve? Where should they start?
Learn strategy and delegate the tasks to qualified Way Three thinkers. (Ideas are easy, planning and executing is what keeps you up at night.) Then document and manage the strategy in every detail. If you do, you will not have time to “do-the-work.” If you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves. Ultimately, the business owner will be able to hire a qualified Way Two or promote a Way Three with Way Two tendencies if they have been mentored properly. It is now at this point; the owner can sit in the Way One seat wearing the Way One hat.
8) What about managers? In general, what do you think they should STOP doing if they wanted to improve their team’s morale/results?
Stop “doing” the work! If a manager, e.g., Way Two micromanages, they are a Way Three in a Way Two seat. Qualified Way Two’s write and manage the plans and direct the Way Three’s who execute the plan. This is a full time job when you add mentoring to the mix. Managers should learn to micro-mentor and refrain from micro-managing.
9) Anything they should start doing more?
Mentor their teams of Way Three thinkers. Improve their own skills to write and manage strategy that is tied to a business objective/s and develop the communication skills to effectively communicate to the Way One. Also, involve their teams in the planning development process. If a Way Three is engaged and an SME (subject matter expert) they want to be involved, the need to know Why there are doing What they do, e.g., tasks should be tied to a business objective connected by a plan. In other words, “An idea without a plan is a pipedream” – R. Michael Rose
10) Based on all your experience in this area, what kind advice you see out there that you disagree with – think is wrong and makes you mad when you hear someone giving it?
ROE is a translational tool, a decoder of sorts. Once learned and adopted, you can use ROE to, not change the meaning, but enhance the understanding of any content. I conduct an experiment routinely; I read the titles of the New York Times business best-seller list. The only titles that are difficult to “decode” if you will, are books having to deal with finance or more specifically Wall Street. Wall Street is all about ROI and nothing to do with ROE. Our country, and more specifically, our small businesses are being impacted by this way of doing business. I can’t help but to think that our government is following suite or leading the way.
11) Any additional comments or thoughts for our Small Giant Community members?
Personal development is the common denominator to each of the three Ways. Again, I believe, if you value personal development you will value either mentoring someone else, or being responsive to being mentored. It’s mentor or manage and mentor over lead. Managing and leading are one to many, mentoring is one to one. For whatever your personal reasons are, if you put mentoring first, over time, you will get the business results you desire. ROE Powers ROI.