At each of our semi-annual company retreats, we typically present a paramount shift in order to grow our operational execution.
Last year, we introduced the concept of Area of Expertise, whose name later changed to Area of Excellence (AOE).
If you don’t write down specific goals and processes, as well as a plan to achieve them, then you may by default succumb to Parkinson’s Law. It’s significantly easier to deal with what comes in from the world, then it is to proactively decide what you want your output to be and measure it.
I wanted to create a system to enable each team member to create that roadmap for themselves.
As I aspired to build it, I noticed a few individuals expressing interest in learning more about certain areas of our business, or even overseeing an area entirely.
The solution appeared in a revelation: every manager could be responsible for overseeing a different part of our business, regardless of how many artists they represent or who those artists are – Ranging from live to music supervision to Asia to remixes and more.
Every manager wrote a detailed vision with goals and an action plan to create opportunity and streamline execution for our artists in their chosen space.
To measure their progress, identify hurdles, and share opportunities, each manager creates an extensive report on their area bi-weekly – These updates were often up to ten pages, but we now make sure they are six pages or less following in Jeff Bezos’ footsteps.
We come together as a team every other week for a two hour meeting to review the reports. In the meeting, everybody reads the individual reports, and then we discuss the progress of each as a group for five minutes – yes, just five minutes – we time it.
Feedback ranges from addressing whether the goals are clear, analyzing what is needed in order to level up to achieve them together, or even making a valuable introduction to support the individual in their mission.
The AOE program allows us to track our progress as a company. We often times manage artists in teams, whereas the AOE experience offers complete individual ownership. The entrepreneurial effects felt by the managers are directly translated to the clients in the day-to-day execution and pursuit of major opportunities.
The process pushes us to exercise our introverted deep work skills and our extraverted abilities to get things done, regardless of where each of us may fall on the introvert vs. extrovert scale.
Most importantly, the AOE program ensures we have and develop experts at our company in each area of the business, as opposed to having amazing managers with thinly stretched networks in a bunch of different areas.
Similar to any change, this shift in ideology, its expected deliverables, and the meeting process were quite challenging to implement and execute at first. But now, we are cruising and seeing very tangible results!
Since its initiation, we’ve brought in and executed deals with Adidas, Beats, and Target, secured a theme song for a major motion picture, and are in the process of signing our first client in the digital space – these opportunities may not have come to fruition without the AOE program in place.
We’ve only been operating with AOE for just over six months and are still refining the process as we consistently do with all 3B initiatives, however, the early results are fascinating and our team is growing faster as a result.