The Rockefeller Habits (Scaling Up)

The Good, The Bad, and Is It Right for Your Business?

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Hello Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners,

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My name is Scott Drake. I'm a Louisville, KY-based business consultant and coach who's an expert in building and training leadership teams. The Rockefeller Habits is a great management framework for some organizations, but it's not the right tool for everyone. Let's explore the good parts, the challenges, and if you're ready to put in place a management framework.

The Good Parts of The Rockefeller Habits (Scaling Up)

The Rockefeller Habits is a management framework designed to help organizations grow by adopting a set of habits and practices. Here are some ways it can help.

  1. Alignment: The Rockefeller Habits help align everyone in the organization around the company's vision, values, and goals. This creates a sense of purpose and direction, which improves teamwork and productivity.
  2. Focus: The Rockefeller Habits uses a systematic approach to setting priorities and focusing on what matters. By focusing on the most critical areas, an organization can make the most of its resources.
  3. Execution: The Rockefeller Habits use a framework to improve discipline and consistency. It helps improve accountability and ensures that the company is making progress towards its goals.
  4. Communication: The Rockefeller Habits emphasize clear and consistent communication throughout the organization. It helps build trust, transparency, and improve decision-making through regular and open communication.
  5. Growth: The Rockefeller Habits help create a scalable and sustainable business model. This can lead to faster growth and increased profitability and improve adaptability.

The Challenges

Frameworks like the Rockefeller Habits are not one-size-fits-all solutions. Some coaches are dogmatic and take a by-the-book approach. I prefer to tailor frameworks to the unique challenges of an organization.

Additionally, you may need to supplement the Rockefeller Habits with other management frameworks. An example would be adopting Agile Methodologies for innovative work.

Here are a few common challenges.

  1. Too rigid: Some people feel the Rockefeller Habits is too rigid and prescriptive, and doesn't allow for enough flexibility or adaptability to changing circumstances.
  2. Overemphasis on metrics: Some people feel it places too much emphasis on metrics, to the detriment of other aspects of running an organization that are harder to measure, such as innovation.
  3. Too focused on growth: The Rockefeller Habits is designed to help businesses grow and scale, but some people feel that the framework puts too much emphasis on growth at the expense of other goals, such as sustainability or social responsibility.
  4. Difficult to implement: While the Rockefeller Habits is designed to be a practical and actionable framework, some business owners may find it difficult to implement in their own businesses. There are a lot of moving parts and implementation requires buy-in from managers and employees.
  5. Lack of customization: Some people feel that the Rockefeller Habits is too generic and doesn't take into account the unique needs and circumstances of their organization. They may prefer a more customized approach to management and leadership.
  6. Lacks leadership training: Finally, implementations often fail to provide adequate leadership training. As a result, managers may struggle to lead change and provide guidance and support to their teams. Results can fall short if leadership training is not provided before and during the implementation.

Are You Ready for the Rockefeller Habits?

Implementing a management framework like the Rockefeller Habits falls into Phase 2 of my process. Phase 1 gets everyone to a baseline as leaders and prepared for change. Here are four things you can observe to know if you're ready.

  1. Clear goals and objectives: Installing the Rockefeller Habits can become aimless and unproductive without clear goals. Clear goals also provide a way to measure progress and check the effectiveness of the implementation. How do you want your organization to be better with the Rockefeller Habits?
  2. An aligned leadership team: A cohesive leadership team is crucial for success. The leadership team sets the tone for the rest of the organization. It must drive change and promote a culture of continuous improvement. Without a cohesive team, there may be conflicting priorities, misunderstandings, and a lack of alignment.
  3. Time: Implementing the Rockefeller Habits requires a time investment, but that time may compete with other major initiatives. A typical implementation can take between 6 and 18 months, with most implementations taking between 9 to 12 months. The Rockefeller Habits requires time for planning and strategy sessions, new standing meetings, and training and coaching.
  4. A willingness to embrace change: Finally, everyone must be open to change. The Rockefeller Habits change how the company operates. It is crucial to have a culture that is open to new ideas and willing to adapt. Without a willingness to embrace change, the Rockefeller Habits implementation is likely to fail.

Need help implementing the Rockefeller Habits or a management framework for your organization? Please fill out this form and let's schedule a quick call.


My name is Scott Drake. I'm a Louisville, Kentucky-based entrepreneur, technology executive, and an expert in building and training leadership teams. I didn't always have this ability, but after years of getting it wrong, I embarked on a five-year research project and invented a shortcut to get it right.

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