Lots of takeaways from yesterday’s four hour session with Jim Collins. I’ll tweet out a lot of them over the next few days. But I must blog about the best one.

Great organizations, and growing organizations, and those that have survived turbulent times, really focus on the getting the Right People in the Right Seats. They know which seats on the bus are the key seats that require “A Players.” They are truly aware of how many are filled by “A Players.” They actively monitor the percentage of “A Players” in these seats. And they are constantly working on improving this metric until they can maintain it at +90%.

Organizations that do this execute better, have more options in turbulent times, and are stronger organizations.

Furthermore, they realize that growth rates at more than 25% per year, it becomes virtually impossible to keep the key seats full of “A Players.” When they can’t, they they fall, so they are disciplined about staying on and within their “hedgehog” concept and resist the undisciplined pursuit of more.

The crowd of growth companies in the audience were reluctant to hear this corollary message. A participant mentioned in a Q and A session that his plan was to grow 50% a year for several years. Collins was visibly shook up by this and strongly urged the entrepreneur to reassess his growth goals. And gave statistical and anecdotal proof as to why this is dangerous and irresponsible.

Measuring your “A Players” in your Key Seats is the key to sustainable growth.

Incredible experience be a part of. Wish more Memphians took advantage of the Telecast.