Have You Figured Out Your SMaC Recipe for Success?

A SMaC Recipe, from Jim Collins’ book Great by Choice, is a set of enduring operating principles that creates a replicable, consistent formula for success.

S – Specific

M – Methodical

A – And

C – Consistent

A client I work with, a second heading towards a third-generation company, absolutely loved the creation of their SMaC Recipe. Instilled by their founder & father and handed down like a family heirloom, from one generation to the next, it’s strong list of dos and don’ts that truly capture the essence of everything learned from repeated successes and failures overtime.

Southwest SMaC List

One of my favorite SMaC lists comes from Southwest Airlines:

  1. Remain a short-haul carrier, under two-hour segments.
  2. Utilize the 737 as our primary aircraft for ten to twelve years. 
  3. Continued high aircraft utilization and quick turns, ten minutes in most cases. 
  4. The passenger is our #1 product. Do not carry air freight or mail, only small packages which have high profitability and low handling costs. 
  5. Continued low fares and high frequency of service.
  6. Stay out of food services. 
  7. No interlining … costs in ticketing, tariffs and computers and our unique airports do not lend themselves to interlining. 
  8. Retain Texas as our #1 priority and only go interstate if high-density short-haul markets are available to us. 
  9. Keep the family and people feeling in our service and fun atmosphere aloft. We’re proud of our employees. 
  10. Keep it simple. Continue cash-register tickets, ten-minute cancellation of reservations at the gate in order to clear standbys, simplified computer system, free drinks in Executive service, free coffee and donuts in the boarding area, no seat selection on board, tape-recorded passenger manifest, bring airplanes and crews home to Dallas each night, only on domicile and maintenance facility.

You can see that their SMaC list keeps them very focused on their way of winning and away from distractions that could dilute their business.

Stay Focused

These are guiding principles that can help your team stay very focused on the wisdom, gained over years, and the mistakes you won’t repeat.

Once your SMaC list is developed, review it quarterly and annually, particularly when resetting high-level priorities for the next year and updating your three-to-five-year plan.

Make sure you do not make any choices that violate or are inconsistent with your SMaC list. 

The Challenge

  • If you already have a SMaC list and review it regularly, congratulations!
  • If you haven’t, what are some of the top dos or don’ts you would like to see endure for 10, 20 or 30 years in your company?
  • How can you work with your team to get this list finalized and built into your strategic planning process?

Listen to Episode 119 of The Growth Whisperers.

Lawrence & Co’s work focuses on sustainable and enhanced growth for you and your business. Our diverse and experienced group of advisors can help your leaders and executive teams stay competitive through the use of various learning tools including workshops, webinars, executive retreats, or one-to-one coaching.

We help high-achieving leaders to have it all – a great business and a rewarding life. Contact us for simple and impactful advice. No BS. No fluff.