Sincere, mission-driven CEOs need the right catalyst to achieve more with less wasted effort.

Play Your Bigger Game!

“Scott is the Independent Operating Partner who engages CEOs and teams, giving them access to insights from GE & Vista Equity Partners they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.”

– Software CEO, E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner

TODAY’S LEADERSHIP DILEMMA

Organizations thrive when the wind is at their back and they are growing
Leaders get stuck operating in familiar ways; complacency sets in
Leaders who don’t escape habitual choices over-operate their companies into decline
Reinventing their business requires the courage to step back; to escape their default positions and to make new choices

57% of business CEOs believe there Is an URGENT business need to Innovate.”

– YPO Global Pulse (29K CEO members)

LEADERS ARE NAVIGATING UNCHARTED TERRITORY

CONVENTIONAL THINKING

Same Thoughts

Same Choices

Same Actions

Same Outcomes

Same Feelings

GROUNDHOG DAY

Emotional signals calling leaders to CHANGE
Anxiety, Disappointment, Frustration, Anger

Leaders go to extraordinary lengths to protect their default positions.

The magic happens outside leaders’ comfort zones.

ADAPTIVE THINKING

New Thoughts 

New Choices

New Actions 

New Outcomes 

New Feelings 

NEXT LEVEL RESULTS

Emotional attributes of leaders in RENEWAL
Excited, Flexible, Curious, Alive

CONVENTIONAL THINKING

Same Thoughts

Same Choices

Same Actions

Same Outcomes

Same Feelings

GROUNDHOG DAY

Emotional signals calling leaders to CHANGE
Anxiety, Disappointment, Frustration, Anger

Leaders go to extraordinary lengths to protect their default positions.

The magic happens outside leaders’ comfort zones.

ADAPTIVE THINKING

New Thoughts 

New Choices

New Actions 

New Outcomes 

New Feelings 

NEXT LEVEL RESULTS

Emotional attributes of leaders in RENEWAL
Excited, Flexible, Curious, Alive

Clients come for the results and stay for the possibilities;
possibilities that take them beyond where they would normally go.

It’s time to move beyond traditional approaches. The need for change has never been more urgent and traditional learning programs are no longer adequately preparing executives for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Instead, interventions need to be personalized to current challenges –       the right insights, at the right time, for the right reasons, in the right ways.

Scott W Zimmerman

TRADITIONAL APPROACHES FALL SHORT

Approach

Strengths

Weaknesses

Training

Expose leaders to new leadership and culture building ideas.
Exposure to meaningful ideas and motivation. 
Leaders re-enter environments, motivation fades, little sticks. Exposure to new information doesn’t create skill.

Offsites

Quarterly “strategic” planning sessions to support clarity – Vision, Mission, Strategy, Values, Goals, Cadences.
Valuable when clarity and structure are absent.
Facilitators have rarely achieved big business outcomes and challenged when navigating away from one size fits all frameworks.

Coaching

Personalized to one leader. Typically, focused on improving leader EQ to get better results.

Coaching starts to get beneath the surface and beyond management science.
Deep business acumen is rare. Coaching individuals in isolation does not help reshape team norms, attitudes, behaviors.

Consulting

Project-driven approach to solve specific problems. Consultants give you an answer.
Domain expertise around common business challenges.
Transactional and costly while not building organizational capacity for evolving problems. Personnel are rarely skilled practicioners.

TRADITIONAL APPROACHES FALL SHORT

Training

  • Approach: Expose leaders to new leadership and culture building ideas.
  • Strengths: Exposure to meaningful ideas and motivation.
  • Weaknesses: Leaders re-enter environments, motivation fades, little sticks. Exposure to new information doesn’t create skill.

Offsites

  • Approach: Quarterly “strategic” planning sessions to support clarity – Vision, Mission, Strategy, Values, Goals, Cadences.
  • Strengths: Valuable when clarity and structure are absent.
  • Weaknesses: Facilitators have rarely achieved big business outcomes and challenged when navigating away from one size fits all frameworks.

Coaching

  • Approach: Personalized to one leader. Typically, focused on improving leader EQ to get better results.
  • Strengths: Coaching starts to get beneath the surface and beyond management science.
  • Weaknesses: Deep business acumen is rare. Coaching individuals in isolation does not help reshape team norms, attitudes, behaviors.

Consulting

  • Approach: Expose leaders to new leadership and culture building ideas.
  • Strengths: Domain expertise around common business challenges.
  • Weaknesses: Transactional and costly while not building organizational capacity for evolving problems. Personnel are rarely skilled practicioners.

"We had quality people but were stuck, and had been stuck for years, from a combination of less than optimal choices, inconsistency in our execution and lack of transparency in our senior team. We were operating the ship without a rudder, bouncing from crisis to crisis.  Said simply, he’s transformed the way we work and work together. "

David | CTO

"Every conversation with Scott results in improved clarity and new and exciting possibilities. He's exceptional at helping refine ideas and make them more actionable by detailing, step by step, the path forward. He brings certainty to the things we pursue as a team, uniquely offering just the right tool or technique for the task.  Scott’s coaching and development efforts have created a completely different aliveness and commitment to our work."

Tom | CMO

"Scott has given us a deeper appreciation of the importance of Mission and Strategy – how they can inspire people to bring new energy to our aspirations. His guidance has informed better choices, clearer priorities, and a new level of commitment.  "

Chris | President

"Scott doesn’t tell me what I want to hear, he tells me what I need to hear. He brings me to the edge of my comfort zone, but simultaneously supports me in taking on something frightening. In every case, I’ve been surprised at how the strategies and preparation he has taught me have allowed me to push through and achieve the outcomes I desired."

Chris | COO

"Scott observed a variety of our meetings over time, giving him an intimate sense of how we functioned as a team and board, and he leveraged those observations to suggest small changes that had an outsized impact on our group function and results. He helped us to pause, eliminate the noise, and begin to work on the fundamental things – including the awareness that we, as leaders had created the culture we wanted to change."

Chris | President

CLOSING THE STRATEGY-EXECUTION GAP

Leadership is about not just being effective in any one element but how all the elements work together. Without a holistic approach, strategic change loses its aim and lacks power.

Vision Development & Alignment

Developing big story of a transformed reality along with a plan of action that aligns individual and collective interests.

  • Senior Leadership: Clarity & Alignment

Addressing Barriers to Execution

Surfacing hidden barriers and friction in work and working relationships.

  • Motivation: Inspiration & Meaning
  • Work Environment: Open, Trusting, Creative
  • Direction: Definitiveness

Scaling Commitment & Trust

Surfacing, integrating more effective measures and learning loops. Framework for requests, commitments, declaring breakdowns as foundation for committed culture.

  • Accountability: Promise Making & Keeping
  • Capabilities: Develop & Acquire
  • Coordination: Addressing Entropy
  • Breakdowns: Building Discipline

Adaptive Capacity Building

Training intensives to build new skills & behaviors for sustained changes. Creating new relationship to innovation and failure.

  • Sense & Meaning Making: Better Choices
  • Commitment Culture: Raising Standards
  • Personal Ownership: Learning & Innovation
  • Innovation: Top-down, Bottom-up
  • External Focus: Customer & Partner Insights

Leadership effectiveness explains 68.7% of the variance in company profit margin performance.”

– Lieberson and O’Connor

TRANSFORMATION HIGHLIGHTS

Adaptive Culture Building

Definiteness of purpose and plans – inspire the energy needed to transform

Adaptive Performance Management

Grow leaders’ capacity to drive next level performances (169% more output/qtr.)

Adaptive Talent Management

Assessing existing leader capacities, giving them confidence to make changes.

Adaptive Sales Systems

Installing systems to transform seller results (300% improvement in new opp. identification)

Adaptive Operations

Implementing standard work – work at level (driving seven-figure EBITDA expansions)

Adaptive Productivity

Automating six-month implementation to one hour, draining problematic backlog.

“What’s unique? No matter the challenging situation, Scott surfaces new possibilities that help our experts get dramatically better. Literally, wherever the need is, he creates impact.”

– Chairman & CEO, Family Office, Former Boston Consulting Group Principal

THE BUSINESS & FINANCIAL OPPORTUNITY

Client 1

Employees

  • +36 Employee NPS
  • -48% Voluntary Turnover

Customers

  • +39 Customer NPS

Operations

  • 31% Service Bookings
  • Most Improved Award
  • Best in Class Recognition
  • Most Trusted Recognition

Financials

  • +$31.1M EBITDA

Client 2

Customers

  • -68% Go-Live Timing
  • -79% Manual Errors

Operations

  • 90% Enterprise Win Rate
  • 40% Faster Deal Velocity
  • 11K+ New Leads
  • +26% Tech Productivity

Financials

  • +$22.9M EBITDA

Adaptive cultures can create EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS in as little as 18 months.

“Owners should stop trying to save their losers – cut them off, shut them down, walk away. Instead, they should be using Scott Zimmerman to optimize their winners.”

– Software Venture Capitalist, latest exit = 31X return

GETTING STARTED IS EASY

Reflect

Is what got you here going to get you where you want to go?

Decide

Are you exposing yourself to enough new potential choices?

Act

Start a conversation that could spark new thinking and action

“This approach is for leaders courageous enough to explore:
What about my leadership is causing these results?”

– Chairman & CEO, Former Carlyle Group Managing Director

PROGRESSIVE IDEAS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Mastering Uncomfortable Conversations

Mastering Uncomfortable Conversations

In my work with senior teams, I witness far too many CEOs and senior leaders who are not skilled in having uncomfortable conversations. Instead, these leaders choose to withhold their concerns or unproductively lash out. The problem with both choices is that they...

The Most Important Question

The Most Important Question

Taking advantage of the opportunities in this moment for your company requires becoming a leader that is increasingly skilled in seeing more choices. Developing greater discernment can only improve through practice. This audioblog (5 min.) outlines a daily practice...

How to Train Leaders Who Change the World

How to Train Leaders Who Change the World

Had so much fun chatting with my friend, former F-18 fighter pilot and five-time best seller Ed Rush on How to Train Leaders Who Change the World. Ed hosts a daily show (ED TALKS) that is an antidote to the anxiety of the current health crisis. You can find his show...

FEATURED & RECOGNIZED

Q&A WITH SCOTT

What companies are a good fit for offering?

Companies that need, and are worth, fixing. Those with viable markets and solid solutions. Businesses that should be doing well but are under-led.

I get most excited by opportunities where a client’s advisory investment can generate a 5-10X return for CEOs and ownership.

What do you know about my industry?

If acquiring more industry knowledge is holding the company back, I recommend hiring an industry consultant.

This offer is for leaders seeking to unlock next level performance in their leadership. My clients are buying certainty; certainty they will be exposed to ideas they haven’t been exposed to or thought of before.

Clients come for results and stay for possibilities; possibilities that take them beyond where they would normally go.

What leaders are a good fit?

In assessing a partnership, I’m looking at a leader’s openness to exploring new ways forward, a deep desire to get better, and their willingness to look at their own need for development.  If these qualities are present, Adaptive Edge is a good match.

The reality is a leader’s historical choices have created their current results. Getting next level results means taking responsibility for new choices.

What is the average tenure of your clients?

I haven’t lost a client since I started but I would like to see clients graduate within 18 months. I will lose clients along the way – some will have a liquidity event, some will find out they really don’t want to be held accountable, and some may decide they need something different.

I will also say goodbye to clients who are not earnest enough to make the changes they need to experience more success.

I’ve tried other things that haven’t made a difference. How will this be different?

Cookie cutter approaches not only fail to address to hidden issues but lack investment in implementation. Implementation is everything.

My approach is not a plug-in methodology. It surfaces possibilities clients have never considered while simultaneously building their capacity to lead within their everyday work.

Leaders attend training but don’t have the rituals for building skill. I’m training their performance ability.

I disrupt limiting patterns and team dysfunction while getting to the heart of resistance. I inspire teams to have the courage to tackle historical challenges and up-level their collective choices and standards. And I stick with teams until new principles and skills are networked into their way of working.

Stay on the edge!

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