We all know that business owners are looking for answers to their growth concerns, not more questions. When you talk to a business owner about the Non-Negotiable Rules, they have a tendency to get a bit ‘prickly’ because entrepreneurs don’t really like rules.

The value of the NNRs are quite simply:

They help a business owner figure out what they don’t know
They help get that business owner thinking about areas of their company they hadn’t thought about before
They focus the business owners efforts on the mission critical aspects of their stage of growth
They give that business owner headlights into the future to be prepared for what’s coming
They provide a rallying point for the entire company

The facilitation of the Non-Negotiable Rules exercise during an X-Ray is where 80% of the issues you’ll be capturing, show up.

The conversations are:








It’s worth your time to help a business owner solve the Non-Negotiable Rules for their stage of growth While the X-Ray allows the business owner and his/her team to do a deep dive into their current NNRs and the two earlier stages of growth, you can also engage a business owner in a conversation centered around their NNRs.

If you are meeting with a Stage 5 business owner, here are a series of questions you can become curious about in order to 1) get a conversation going and 2) help that business owner drill down into areas that need their attention.

RULE #1: INTEGRATE THE MANAGEMENT TEAM INTO AN INTER-DEPENDENT, EXECUTIVE-FOCUSED LEADERSHIP UNIT. • Have you researched and designed a comprehensive leadership team decision-making process? • Are you working to facilitate the leadership team’s comprehensive understanding of the company’s detailed flash sheet? • Are you helping to unify the team by co-authoring a team mission and five clear leadership team goals?

RULE #2:  OVERHAUL THE BUSINESS MODEL. • Over the past 12 months, have you challenged all assumptions regarding vision, mission, goals, objectives and strategies for the company? • Have you challenged all assumptions about the customer, the competition, the market and your company’s offerings? • Over the past 12 months, have you reorganized/ rewired the company’s resources to meet the new business design conclusions?

RULE #3:  ESTABLISH A ONE-YEAR OPERATIONAL BUSINESS PLAN. • Are you set up to have your leadership team author the company’s strategies and initiatives? • Does each leader provide operational input from their area of responsibility? • For this year, did you organize and integrate a tactical plan with the implementation of the company’s budget?

RULE #4:  ESTABLISH A FULLY INTEGRATED LIVING BUDGET BY REVENUE GROUP AND BY DEPARTMENT. • Are you developing a comprehensive budget template by revenue group and department? • Is the budget process driven by the one-year business plan process? • Are you planning to review budget assumptions and actual results at every monthly leadership team meeting?

RULE #5:  ALLOCATE 3% OF STAFF COMPENSATION FOR STAFF TRAINING. • Have you organized the annual purpose and objectives of employee training to fit the needs of the company’s business plan? • Do you have a plan on how to communicate staff training opportunities to the entire employee community? • Have you established staff training as part of the employee performance scorecard?

If you have read this series of emails on the Non-Negotiable Rules, can you recite the 5 reasons I give at the beginning of each of these emails on the value of the NNRs?

Remember: If you Hear something, you remember 25% of it, if you Write about something, you remember 50% of it, if you TALK about something, you remember 75% of it, and if you DO IT, USE IT, APPLY IT, you remember 80% of it.

I suggest you find your first or next X-Ray prospect and start talking about these Rules of the Road!

I cover all of the Non-Negotiable Rules in my series of books on the 7 Stages of Growth. Looking for a gift for a client? Or a great resource? 

Find them here:



Questions? I’m just an email or phone call away and I’m here to help.


Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!