Adaptive CEO

3-Hour Transformation


FrameWork is completely transparent to who self-manages and to what work is performed. In addition to the more junior employees who have benefitted, dozens of CEOs, partners, and senior executives have used FrameWork to clarify the work (as services) they perform. They have evaluated the relative value of their services, identified improvements, and set objectives to increase the value of their services profiles. We have found that senior executives often are too saturated with managing activities and do not spend enough time thinking, observing, and learning.

The good news is that once the low value managing efforts are made clear, executives are not bashful about making decisions to improve their productivity

Executive Coaching: Executives of both public and private companies have experienced FrameWork. Their issues are similar. For example, in response to the following question: “How can you free up 5% extra time,?” Typical executive responses were:

  • Reduce badly run and too long meetings
  • Reduce email saturation, coach others to make decisions on their own
  • Define clear levels of authority and stick with it.
  • Understand what constitutes priorities and trust others to follow decisions
  • Provide feedback mechanism for workers to monitor their own productivity

Most executives simply don’t realize how inefficient they are. Often urgent issues prevail, leaving little or no time for important issues. FrameWork provides a simple, clear, and effective place for executives to examine their effectiveness and create transformations including measurable improvements. As the process is repeated over time the executives can see patterns of success and lingering issues. They are “self-managing”. This process of self-managing works for anyone –  as your own CEO of one, or for CEOs from startups to large organizations. 

"By Hiring Sales Execs Early, We made an Extra 44M" – Jerry

Meet Jerry: She is the CEO of an $800M electronic manufacturing contractor. When she arrived as CEO 4 years ago, the traditional low margin business was loosing money and employee moral was low. Jerry is an excellent turn-around expert and within two years she re-tooled the management team, got costs and waste under control, and brought the company back to profitability. While successful, Jerry was feeling lots of stress and was buried under lots of meetings and over 1000 emails per day. The micro-managing needed to turn-around the company was getting in her way of growing the turned-around company.  

Using FrameWork: As part of a CEO workshop Jerry spent about 35 minutes specifying the profile of the services she performs and the % FTE (full time equivalent) breakdown of what consumes her time/energy.

Jerry broke down her time into 7 high level services and described the relative value of each service. She was spending about 40% of her time in email, meetings, and other forms of communication. About 27% of her time was consumed in lower value communication. As part of the turn-around Jerry created the more complicated customer quotes, a service she no longer needed to perform.

27% of her time was consumed in lower value communications

Identifying Problems: Jerry was frustrated with the use of her time and FrameWork gave her the clarity and decision making opportunity to make changes. Her coach suggested she break down her communication to more clearly identify opportunities to reduce the 27% of her time reading and responding to email – everyone wanted her permission to make a decision. Jerry reviewed each service and identified problems, potential changes, and objectives in 5 of the 7 services.   

Setting Objectives: During the workshop and later at her office, Jerry identified the following objectives and setting completion dates in FrameWork. They included:

  • Add a senior level program manager; replace two others
  • Communicate clear criteria for when she was to be copied, or not, on email
  • Research and create a manufacturing 4.0 plan
  • Train and delegate to Business Development complicated cost modeling
  • Install collaborative a robot system by January 31
  • Train a half time assistant to read and manage the CEO’s email
  • Reduce time spend on smaller than $5M accounts

Transformation: FrameWork captured Jerry’s problem statements, objectives and due dates, and improvement projects where others needed to be engaged to solve problems and meet the objectives. For example, Jerry created a team to streamline the planning of their telecommunication operation.

"I made significant decisions and set objectives in about 3 hours." – Jerry

Jerry’s gave herself 6 months to achieve significant changes in how she was creating value. Most important for her was preparing a necessary shift in leadership in order to achieve the next level of growth. She shifted 27% of her effort from (micro) managing activities to coaching and developing her staff. Changes in her services profile are summarized below:

Reduced Services: Action % FTE 
  • Executive Sale Support
Hire Sale Executive
Train BD – Cost Modeling
Ignore <$5M Accounts
  • Email and Messaging
Establish Email Criteria -8%
  • Meeting/Email Requests
Train Part-Time Assistant -5%
  • Staff Management
Upgrade Planning Process -2%
  • Strategy and Objectives
Improve Delegation; Leaders -2%
Total -27%
Increase Services
  • Engage with Customers
Focus on the Top 250 +5%
  • Technology & Processes
Collaborative Robot System +6%
  • Customer Issues/Support
Program Manager Changes +1%
  • Corporate Development
Explore M&A, Partnering +7%
  • Foster Leadership
Develop/Coach Team +8%
Total 27%


Summary: Jerry has used FrameWork to make a critical leadership shift from organizing and controlling to developing and leverage her team.

“As CEO I needed a process to self manage and measure my own progress” – Jerry

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