• Dave Lindahl, CEO, RE Mentor

    I have used Bob Norton as a CEO coach and consultant to implement his AirTight Management systems. Bob is one of the few people nationally I found who actually has "Been there and done that," growing multiple companies to over $100M in sales. In just six weeks, we were able to implement the first three systems of AirTight Management. They have moved our company to a new level of professionalism that will allow us to continue our rapid growth and succeed at a whole new level.

  • Craig Brenner, CEO, NEDS

    I was skeptical regarding the value I might get from attending. I went and was extremely happy with the higher-level strategy information and its application to my business. Following my "2nd" time attending, I became a coaching client too. I gained insights, perspectives and a ton of value. I recommend it highly and with confidence.

  • Paul T., CEO, iFive Alliances

    What I like the most is that it is real. There is no fluff. One example is using Competitive Landscape Maps. You explain the purpose and process of using the tools, and then you apply it, and people learn real things about their business.

  • John Edmond, President, Angel Data Networks

    I thought this seminar was appropriate for any senior-level executive who wants to get on the same page strategically with their team and boost their business. I feel I greatly underpaid for the value delivered.


The AirTight Organizational


      Development (OD) Program


                    Build a World-Class SMB Team


In the last century the science of management has evolved dramatically. In the industrial age old school Theory-X (1960s), for factories and the industrial age with strong hierarchy and command and control worked fine. As the information age blossomed Theories Y and Z (1981) for managing a higher mix of professional and white-collar workers was needed.


In the last three decades management has evolved further by using more technology, not just for communications but also to allow for more virtual organizations, globalization, outsourcing and real-time project management. In addition, we now have proof of the effectiveness of collaborative management and many other High-Performance Team (HTP) best practices.


Combining these methods properly can dramatically improve organizational effectiveness, growth rates and create sustainable competitive advantage. Also approaches like open-source software and even collaborative content development (I.e. Wikipedia) have created new ways for organizations to tap the collective wisdom, knowledge and skills of larger and more dispersed professionals.


Benefits of Our Integrated Development Program


a)      Create a culture which is consistent with the company’s strategy, mission, value proposition and brand

b)      Improve manager performance, which has high ROI and leverage when using proven High-Performance Team (HPT) best practices

c)      Increase average tenure of the top people who need to grow professionally to move up and stay long-term

d)      Increase ability to attract top people who see a career path, not just a job

e)      Avoid political issues and group think by using an outside vendor who has no other interests or focus and can manage the program


These programs must have full support from the CEO down, with long-term commitment to succeed. We will not accept any engagement without a one year minimum term and the signature of the CEO of the organization because there is a high likelihood of failure without this level of support. This must be a commitment to change and constant improvement of the culture and company. It is working “on”, not “in” the business.

A growth company, or any company that wants to be a market leader, must invest in developing both its managers and the organization’s infrastructure to support growth. Favorable market factors always change but a high-performance culture creates sustainable competitive advantage by capitalizing on innovation and people.

Phases to Develop a High-Performance Culture

r  Evaluate the culture and plan the desired result. This will depend on the company, industry and situation but always have elements of meritocracy which attracts and keep the best people. We call the ideal culture a Darwinian Meritocracy™

r  Evaluate each individual manager and determine the gap that exists between current skills, desired skills today and target skills and abilities for 1-2 years out. Note that skills can be developed through learning but more complex arts require years of practice.

r  Design a custom plan for each individual with blended learning that includes a combination of study (basics and foundation), mentoring, coaching and their favorite learning modalities. Knowles is the state-of-the-art on adult learning.

r  Execute each plan, test, report and improve quarterly – This includes a mix of training, coaching and consulting to raise the level of each key person.


The Deming Wheel, or cycle of constant improvement



Organizational Development is a never-ending process because both internal corporate and external factors will always drive some change. Also, because there is always both employee turn-over and a need for refresher courses and product/service evolution.


Developing and controlling the culture is normally possible only in SMBs and departmental areas with focus. It becomes exponentially more difficult with groups over 100-200 people. It is critical to set up as early as possible. Larger organizations therefore must be have separate programs for each area, or line of business.

Every business with at least three managers should begin a rudimentary Management Development Program (MDP).  MDPs are focused on the individuals and their professional development. Budget - Typical budgets can be from 3-6% of the manager’s combined salaries. If CAGR is under 15% then a budget of 3% is usually sufficient unless there are serious problems or “overwhelm”. Growth rates over 15% would likely need to be on the higher end of this range to be effective and keep up with rapid growth.

Organizational Development Programs (ODPs) are broader and more holistic and focus on the abilities of the organization as a whole. ODP includes internal management systems, strategic and management processes, succession planning and preparing for the future of the organization. Think of OD as the skeleton and the executives and managers as organs in the body performing their specialized functions. At AirTight Management we call all these functions combine Human Capital Acquisition and Development (H-CAD).

OD is more about supporting organizational readiness to meet change and constantly evolve (Darwinian).

OD is not training, personal development, team development or team building, human resource development (HRD), learning and development (L&D) or a part of HR. That is MD. This is often misunderstood. OD develops processes, systems and internal management structures. Of course the two have some overlap.


Each organization will receive a custom plan
within the defined budget.

Some Tools of MD/OD

ü  Gap/Dysfunction analysis, 360 Evaluations, DISC tests and personality profiles

ü  Professional development training, usually supported by a Learning Management System (LMS) which acts as a growing repository of corporate knowledge

ü  Mentoring program, using institutional knowledge and people to develop and acclimate newer employees

ü  Coaching from external executive coaches

ü  Job rotation and other cross-training and empathy building to enhance interdepartmental communications and cooperation. Even company social function play a role here.

ü  Business process workflow analysis and optimization (BPM)

ü  Systems and policies for constant feedback, accountability and managing by the numbers (KPIs) to enhance management leverage

ü  An executive education program including self-development, reading, seminars, conventions, leadership training and development and other skills appropriate to the specific executive


Foundational Skills Managers Must Master

a)      Goal setting and accountability

b)      Hiring, firing, coaching and developing employees

c)      Managing and motivating employees (5 styles)

d)      Budgeting and planning in advance, not reactively

e)      Managing by the numbers, dashboards and KPIs

f)       Project Management and Product Management

g)      Innovation and constant improvement (CANI/Kaizen)

h)      High-Performance Team (HPT) techniques

i)       People skills, EQ

j)       Managing up, reporting and writing skills

k)      Negotiation and selling skills, internal and external

l)       Fiduciary responsibilities, ethics and corporate governance

M)    Leadership skills - Gateway to the Executive level


Our Proprietary OD & MD Process is Guaranteed to Produce Results


Our process incorporates over two decades of experience in developing organizations. We created AirTight Management to simplify creating world-class organizations by using standardized systems and proven best practices. In fact, all Six Systems could be called the basic foundation, or skeleton of an organization. They are an organization’s framework for growth.


Each manager needs fundamental skills training and a shared language with other managers. We developed our Video Training Library (VLT) to provide this in a consistent and cost-effective way. Any MD program needs to address the needs of each individual manager to develop then into an executive over time. Executives can manage managers (i.e. VP, GM, COO).

Consulting & Design

Design of an individual MD plan for each manager requires vast experience.  Only very experienced executives and consultants are capable of both identifying the needed skills and creating a program designed for each individual.  Our experts will get it right for you the first time instead of you doing trial and error for months or years. We will also bring outside perspective as well as benchmarks and ideas from many other industries. 


Training alone never works! Training is just information, or a foundation for building skills. People must use these skills and force out older, less effective habits, not consistent with best practices. A good coach is an expert manager and executive and connects this knowledge with actual needs and supports the person in their behavior change. There must be commitment and trust.



Create a World-Class Company Using Proven Systems and Best Practices

for Organizational and Team Development



Other AirTight Systems – Click each for more information. Performance, Accountability and Merit System (PAMS)

Dashboards and Metrics to Drive Higher Performance      Strategic Budgeting           
Process ManagementHuman Capital Acquisition and Development (HCAD)


Call: (619) SCALE06 for a free business assessment.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



AirTight Management and Bob have a perfect 5-Star scores at both third party consulting sites where we offer coaching and consulting services.
You can read other 3rd party testimonials on his LinkedIn profile here:

Here are a few examples from satisfied clients:


 “We were able to improve our management of the business and see things we never saw before as a result of AirTight’s help. I recommend it to any business that wants to grow.”

n  CEO of $4MM B2B Service Company

 Craig has run one technology company as its CEO and helped Kiva Systems, a robotics company, be acquired by Amazon.com for hundreds of millions after working with Bob to design its dashboards.


Bob has even been mentioned in the same paragraph as Richard Branson and Tony Robbins in a book acknowledgement by a CEO and Author client here:


I had been working on a problem for many years and solved it within a day of working with Bob.

n  CEO and CEO Boot Camp Attendee


David is an Ex-IBM Senior Executive and previous investor in one of Bob’s Companies turned CEO.