1.

2.

Management and Leadership Best Practices

3.

Dashboards, Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

4.

Strategic Budgeting and Projection For Innovation

5.

Process Management and Constant Improvement

6.

Human Capital Acquisition and Development - Performance Management

How We Implement AirTightTM Management 

The AirTight Six Systems incorporate ideas and best practices from over 1,000 books on management, business and entrepreneurship that our Founder, Bob Norton, read over his career. These were selected from three decades of experience building companies and products. AirTight structures the arts of mangement, leadership and running a business into a teachable framework with all the key management processes needed. These will distance average managers from the true "professional managers" and result in better companies and results.

The AirTight Management brand was created in 2009 by formalizing the framework and rolling together all his decades of experience and development of intellectual property into this single framework. It incorporates all the material from The CEO Boot Camp and several books on entrepreneurship, leadership and management of companies our founder wrote as well as ideas collected over thirty years of management experience. 

Our Six Systems approach is more comprehensive than anything else available today because it covers all aspects of the business across all disciplines including sales, marketing, finance, product development and operations (or customer service if you prefer). Each System can be implemented and used independently.

This is not to say AirTight Management is easy to learn or simple. Nothing worthwhile ever is really. It is complex and will take years to master. There are four levels of learning and certification in each of the six Systems for a total of 24 different certifications. This is why we recommend certified experts help install these Systems.

Models and Systems Break Down Highly Complex Problems to Manageable Pieces.

AirTight Management is a set of these models and systems that are fully integrated into a comprehensive framework to run companies. 

Having a framework, like any model, helps people learn, improve and use the thousands of ideas and best practices in the management and leadership arts and sciences. Models also allow these practices to be put into a trainable framework for people to learn in an structured way as they need each piece and develop in their own career.

Less than 1 in 100 companies will grow to $10,000,000 in sales or more. Most often this is the result of poor management and planning and the limits of the management team. The result is many founders will be replaced by professional management, companies will be sold or even shut down completely. It is impossible to "know what you don't know" and most senior managers have no one to learn from like a mentor or coach who has done it before. 

Everyone needs to learn from history, science and best practices, not reinvent the wheel. Management team members will often outgrow their experience level as a company grows. When this happens they need help to break through that plateau and enter new ground. This can be done with a good coach or mentor and by using proven Systems and practices. A combination of these is the ideal and fastest way.


 We have compiled and structured hundreds of best practices into the Six AirTight Management Systems to create world-class companies, so you won't have to!

The skills to run and grow a company once it reaches several million dollars are very different than the skills to start a company. AirTight Management provides a comprehensive framework to implement all the systems a company needs to break through to multi-millions in revenue, and then hundreds of millions or more.

These systems are designed for companies with at least ten employees to take them to 50, 100, 500 or even or more. All the Systems can also be applied to any department or division of a larger company. These best practices and skills are not easy to learn on the job and most are not even taught in graduate business programs. Why would you want to reinvent the wheel anyway? Learning this way would be very, very expensive and take a decade or more!

The AirTight Management Six Systems provide complete solutions to all the problems of strategy, people, management, and growth. We use a combination of training, coaching and consulting to integrate each System into your company. The implementation is designed based entirely on your staff's ability and experience for each client. Using only one or two of these methods is most often a recipe for failure as people learn different ways.

 How We Do It?

If we told you we would have to kill you.
Well not really because information does not equal experience and ability!
Try learning to ride a bike or flying an airplane after just reading books on this.
Try painting a masterpiece after reading a book on art.
It is just not possible.

One Secret is deciding the exact right combination of
training, coaching and consulting that is needed for a given company and team! 
Each implementation is designed specifically for each client's business based on where they are today.
An assessment can be done in a single day to develop a plan.

Each engagement will include a combination of: 

1. Training - Several methods can be used including: On-site, video and audio training. The main tool is our Video Training Library (VLT), which has over 100 videos on the Six Systems. The library has courses at all levels to train any number of individual contributors, managers and/or executives and has been developed to make implementation easier and far more cost efficient.    

2. Coaching - To facilitate each person to adopt and leverage the required practices and conventions (change management)  

3. Consulting - To diagnose and design a specific implementation program to adopt each System. This can take weeks or months, depending on many factors like the size and age of the company  

4. Licensed tools and intellectual property - To be used internally on an ongoing basis to keep your team aligned and always improving while focused on the vision. These are included with every engagement

Without this combination of strategies cultural change almost always fails, or is suboptimal. 

 Generally we allow 4-8 weeks to implement each System but we will generate a customized plan for every company, situation and budget.

We will train and coach your management team to leverage each System, one at a time. This will increase their team and individual performance, and also reduce friction and stress. They will all transition over several months to a higher-performance professional management team. The Six Systems address all levels in an organization (vertically on the org chart) and across all departments (horizontally on the org chart). Each system can be used in any department or division and not in others. Whereas most standards address a narrow area of a business, like Six Sigma and ISO 9000 address quality, AirTight is a holistic and complete framework that encompasses all the needed management processes. AirTight Management is also a higher level framework that can incorporate any other systems and procedures.

        

We guarantee that AirTight Management practices will greatly improve your company from both a strategic and operational (execution) perspective.

These Six Systems will both save money and drive additional sales in short order. You will begin seeing results within weeks and never be able to go back to the 'old way' of doing business and managing people.

 

Take Action Call (508) 381-8013 to get a free consultation to address your current issues.

This is a free diagnosis with an expert consultant, not a salesperson. 

Or you can register at our "Contact Us" page to get our newsletter and whitepapers as we publish them.

 

Human Capital Acquisition and Development - Human Resources

Some Benefits of the AirTight Human Capital Acquisition and Development
         (HCAD) – System #6:

1. Attract and retain the best people to create sustainable competitive advantage. Your people drive all success and failure.

2. Control and guide your culture to create high-performance teams and increased value creation and productivity.

3. Improve morale, communications and reduce employee friction. Minimize bad politics and maximize results.

4. Lower employee turnover and the repeated training costs, which can be over six figures for managers, and are mostly hidden in lost opportunity and reduced efficiencies.

5. Create a culture of constant innovation and high-quality to increase market share and margins.

6. Use proven “out-of-the-box” procedures, processes and forms for employee hiring, review and development that will increase tenure, job fulfillment, and individual growth. Superglue the best employees to your firm while ejecting non-performers and malcontents automatically.

7. Groom your top people to run their areas like their own business and drive profitable growth.

 

Systems #6, or (HCAD or phonetically "H + CAD") is about creating and controlling your corporate culture to maximize performance, market share and to attract and keep the best people.

We call this ideal culture a "Darwinian Meritocracy" because it evolved naturally, taking into account all internal and external (marketplace, industry etc.) conditions. Generally this System cannot be implemented until after System #2 PAMS and System #3 Dashboards are already in place and practiced because they are fundamental tools to help create this culture.

Every company needs to have its own cultural flavor that is appropriate for its industry, market position, brand and other factors. However, there are also many proven best practices to managing employees that create a great company and a great culture that all companies should use. Most do not know and use these proven best practices. We have scanned the globe and top business minds and texts for the 'best of the best' ideas that are all compatible and integrated into HCAD System #6.

Our Human Capital Acquisition and Develop System includes all of the following and more:

  1. A framework of standard policies and procedures for employees that encourages ownership and responsibility
  2. A system for employee reviews
  3. Tools and forms to facilitate employee development, training plans and appropriate use of time to drive innovation
  4. Tools that Human Resources and all managers need to recruit, train and develop the best people possible
  5. A philosophy that empowers managers and executive to "do the right thing" and to develop their people without fear and personal agendas and politics ruling these decisions
  6. Guidelines on evolving a culture from early-stages to a growth driven market leader broken down by The Five Stages of Development
  7. The Employee Development Ladder which lays out clear expectations for advancement and criteria for hiring based on the seniority of each position
  8. A full hiring process to optimize results and have very low turn-over but properly vetting prospects including analytically tools like our proprietary Skill Set MatrixTM and recommendations
  9. Processes for internal management cadence to guide departments and connect strategy with tactics on every level of the organization
  10. Advanced training on leadership to inspire people to higher performance and glue themselves to the corporate mission
  11. Advanced tools for delegating, problem solving, friction resolution and other psychological tools that are needed when a company reaches over 25-50 employees to maintain a small company feel, yet have the needed infrastructure for growth
  12. Customization of various management theories and methods to the company culture, brand and market position

 

Note that all these tools integrate and are compatible with the Strategic Planning process and tools as well as
System #2 Management Best Practices (PAMS).

No other framework can claim this level of comprehensive tools across the entire organization
both vertically and horizontally as our AirTight Six Systems.

 

 

 <-- Watch this short video, then call for a free evaluation and analysis of what would make sense for your company at this time.
 

 

Our training, coaching and implementation process has evolved and been enhanced since 2002 when we started helping companies full-time. However, these ideas and best practices have been extracted from hundreds of books and used since as early as 1989 and come from the best of the best business gurus and thought leaders.

It is all timeless because human beings do not change much, even though technology does. Modularity and a variety of tools that allow all our Systems to be customized for any company, industry or any situation.

Next Step: Use the pull down menu above under "What is AirTight Management?" to explore each System and decide which you need most to begin. There is a short video on each system with a list of the advantage and some information to help diagnose your company's most important gaps. Or call to set up a 30-40 minute professional discovery at no cost. We will guide you through the options and System to optimize your results and experience.

 

Call (508) 381-8013 to get a free consultation with an expert,
not a sales person.
We will diagnose your issues and recommend enhancements and additions
to your Management Systems to create a higher performance company.

 

 

Process
Some Benefits of the AirTight Process Management - System #5:
  1. Systematize the key processes of value creation to put them on auto-pilot so managers can work on improvements, not day-to-day activities.
  2. Document processes and systems for training to capture institutional knowledge and speed the contribution of new employees.
  3. Create a culture and the process thinking needed for Constant and Never Ending Improvement (CANI or Kaizen) which drives innovation and cost reductions for competitive advantage and higher profits.
  4. Improve quality and reduce costs from error handling, customer service and other exception handling.
  5. Increase customer satisfaction by providing more consistent service, products and quality, as well as better predictability.
  6. Provided needed measure and reporting so that improvement in key metrics is possible
  7. Define individual and department responsibilities more clearly to avoid communications issues, reduce friction and improve teamwork 

Business Process Management (BPM), Process Management (PM), and Process Management System (PMS) are all very similar things. Our System #5 Process Management System provides a simple set of best practices a manager can learn and use without complex tools or certifications. This is Process Management (PM) appropriate for small and medium size companies (SMBs or SMEs) to get all the benefits of using conventions, without spending hundred of thousands of dollars on software and training. Often these expensive implementations fail due to over-complexity. Everything you need for software is available free, or included in standard suites like Microsoft Office, Open Office or any number of other applications. It is the philosophy and convention that matters most, not the software tools.

System #5 captures the institutional knowledge in a company's key processes so that this can be trained and improved on over time. It provides the tools for Constant and Never-ending Improvement (CANI), or what the Japanese call "Kaizen". Processes move through a life cycle from infancy (creation) to maturity.

Having a simple framework to invent, document and improve processes is critical. No company can scale its business without dong this properly and many companies explode, going out of business or losing customers because they do not take Process Management seriously.

The reality is that almost every company is a collection of processes that create value. Management and enhancement of those processes is a critical factor in the growth and success of most companies.

Everything from the customer marketing funnel to production and delivery of products and services is composed of key processes. Great organizations document and improve these constantly and have clear lines of responsibility and communications to see that there is full "ownership" of each process. Mature processes have metrics associated with them so that they can be delegated and scaled with performance expectations.

 

  <--  Listen to this short video on System 5: Process Management

 

Every company is a collection of value creation processes which can be improved over time to drive higher profitability, market share and innovation.

 


Our training, coaching and implementation process has evolved and been enhanced since 2002 when we started helping companies full-time. However, these ideas and best practices have been extracted from hundreds of books and used since as early as 1989 and come from the best of the best business gurus and thought leaders of the last seventy-five years.

It is all timeless because human beings do not change very rapidly, even though technology does. Modularity and a variety of tools allows all our Systems to be customized for any company, industry or any situation.

 

Next Step: Use the pull down menu above under "What is AirTight Management?" to explore each System and decide which you need most to begin turning your company into a leader in its field. There is a short video on each system with a list of the advantages and some information to help diagnose your company's most important gaps.

Call (508) 381-8013 to get a free consultation from and expert, not a sales person.
We will diagnose your current issues and recommend Management System enhancements and additions
that can have a rapid impact on your company's profitability, innovation and market share.

 

 
Some Benefits of the AirTight Strategic Budgeting - System #4:

 

1.      AirTight Strategic Budgeting develops better allocation of resources to optimize Return on Investment (ROI) based on opportunities and innovation. It is not just a cost control system/method, like most accounting departments will implement, but a strategic process that is linked directly into a Strategic Plan.

2.      Increase accuracy of projections to improve cash-flow and capital needs planning.

3.      Includes all the tools needed to implement a monthly financial review process that holds everyone accountable and makes managers treat their area of the business as their own to “own results” not just activities.

4.      Fund small projects with frugal experimentation to increase innovation then scale those that work.

5.      Dovetail monthly and quarterly financial results with Strategic Planning goals for long-term tracking and projection and a feedback loop to improve.

6.     Reduce inter-departmental friction and unhealthy competition for resources by making managers justify expenses and investments and understand trade-offs to increase teamwork.

 

Listen to this short video on Strategic Budgeting. 


Our process has evolved and been enhanced since 1989 when our founder first started designing and using these systems in a company that grew to $156 million in revenue only 18 months after product launch.

Our implementation process uses a proprietary process and formula only we can provide and contains a set of tools that allow us to rapidly customize each AirTight needed to any company, industry or situation. 



Depending on your company size you may need more or less of the overall process but most elements automatically scale with your company's growth.  

Next Step: Use the pull down menu above under "What is AirTight Management?" to look at each System you think you may need to see the symptoms of not having that System and the advantages achievable when you add it to your management tool box. There is a short video on each system to help diagnose your company's most important gaps. 

Call (508) 381-8013 to get a free phone consultation with an expert, not a sales person.
We will diagnose your issues and recommend the proper Management Systems enhancements and/or additions to facilitate
better profitability, growth and long-term market share gains.


AirTight Management Creates High-Performance Teams and High-Performance Companies!

Tip #1: The magic of dashboards is in selecting the right  metrics (KPIs), not the software and sizzle or colored graphs.

An expertly designed dashboard will frame and focus a company, or department, and drive the right focus and results.  Even just by using a simple spreadsheet to track these. 

Whether you call it Business Intelligence (BI), Performance Management (PM), Executive Dashboards or Business Performance Management (BPM) it is really based on all the same best practices of Management Science and leadership. You cannot improve what you do not measure and watch closely.  

We Can Design a Custom Dashboard for You in One Week That Will Turn Your Company Into a High-Performance Machine Over Time!

    Some Benefits of Our Proprietary Dashboards & Metrics System & Processes:

1. Dashboards allow a business to be “run by the numbers” freeing up management to work “on”, not “in” the business. When the dashboard metrics are right strategic decisions come easily. Unfortunately most people cannot design the right metrics (KPIs) into the dashboard as it requires vast business experience.

2. Dashboards allow many day-to-day activities and processes to mature and improve, as well as be put on on “auto-pilot” so employees and managers are accountable to perform.

3. Good dashboards drive Constant and Never Ending Improvement (CANI), or Kaizen, for key processes and metrics to increase quality, reduce costs and result in increased market share.

4. A well designed department dashboard can transform a mediocre manager into a good to excellent manager by creating focus, accountability and making subtle issues far more visible to all involved. Then corrections can be made quickly that often linger unnoticed for years. Dashboards also allow quicker and less disruptive transitions when people leave.

5. Dashboards provide early warning indications of both industry (external) and company (internal) trends that might go undetected until it is too late to adjust.

6. Well designed dashboards connect "cause and effect" that is separated in time and location in organizations so that you see connections that are often missed, especially across departments. Patterns will become obvious that were previously hidden.

7. Dashboards allow better projections, goal setting and setting of performance standards and bonuses to increase both productivity and morale.

8. When you are ready we have other compatible Management Systems to take you further that integrate with these departmental and corporate dashboards. All with cost effective, on-demand video training included.


A business that wants to scale, increase profitability, revenues and market share must systematize its business to "Run it by the numbers". This allows leverage and creation of more value, and also allows less skilled people to do more sophisticated things. It is all about getting your business processes down to a science with known inputs and outputs and the ability to constantly hold people accountable to acceptable results.

Doing a particular task or process well is one thing. Replicating it so others can do that task with good performance measures, improvement goals and other things is a more advanced skill that fewer people know how to do. Dashboards allow managers to use "Management By Exception" (MBE), as well as Management By Objective (MBO). MBE is an appropriate style of management for both senior people and mature processes that have been reduced to certain performance metrics. It is the responsibility of every manager to move people and processes up this maturity scale. Our video training includes management best practices modules that will allow your managers to use more advanced management techniques that 93% of managers do not know. These are guaranteed to enhance your company's performance.

AirTight Management's proprietary Dashboard System and templates are used to create a high level company wide dashboard, as well as a dashboard for each department. This enables constant improvement, better projections and enhanced quality over time. We can design dashboards that will very rapidly improve your company. We will also help you implement the proper procedures and processes until these dashboards are effective. This can be done very economically remotely. We will interview the department heads remotely and combine this with our on-demand Video Training Library (VTL). Alternately we can come on site to hand-hold everyone through the change process and then guarantee results. On-site is recommended for companies over about 30 employees because more change management is needed. 


 

Tip #2: Focus on the business and the right numbers to watch, not the software. Dashboard design is an art and where the magic happens. Don't let software people do the design work as it requires vast business experience and understanding of management and psychology. 


 

<== Watch this short video introduction to our Dashboards and Metrics System of AirTight Management's full framework.

Dashboards is one of the quickest and easiest Systems to implement for fast impact on a business. This also requires some management training to work well.

We include several short courses to ease implementation of dashboards into your firm.

The key and magic is in the design and proper training of your team. We also certify professional consultants and coaches to design, train and implement dashboards correctly for maximum business impact. 


We have introductory, intermediate, advanced and expert level dashboard courses for all levels of employees. On-demand video is used for consistent, effective and low cost training delivery, and optional certification. Video training modules are available 24/7/365 on any standard browser or device (i.e. PC, tablet or smartphone)We can train and certify employees, managers and individuals to do just what they need to - or create an in-house "owner" and expert for your company to develop and maintain these critical tools. Green Belt certifications are for end-users and more advanced belts are for managers and executives responsible for designing and improving your company's performance.

For the best and quickest results and lowest risk we recommend you use our experts to design your dashboards at the corporate and departmental levels. We are very, very good at this and do it quickly too because our experts have done this for over 20 years.  Done right these dashboards will impact your business quickly and change how you think about it too. We can design all corporate and departmental dashboards in as little as a week but recommend two weeks to allow for a week of training for your team. You will be amazed how much leverage you can get running a business by the numbers.

\\

Tip #3: There are four categories of numbers that need to be used in every dashboard to make it effective.
If you do not have all four, balanced, the dashboard and metrics will not work well and can even cause harm. Call us to learn about those categories. 


Q & A on Dashboards with our Founder

What is a Dashboard?

What is the Key Goal of a Dashboard?

Implementation

Dashboard Basics Course Intro & Agenda

What are the Benefits of a Well Design Dashboard?

 
Who should NOT Design a Dashboard?