A business newspaper article on the May 26 by Michael Kelly of Wilfrid Laurier University
reviewed a new business book “Three Rules” by Raynor and Ahmed, consultants with Deloitte’s.
Fortunately, this business book appears to offer sound business rules – vs. many other popular
business books that really missed the point. Many of those other books analyzed successful
companies as learning examples, but it was found, a few years later, that such idealized
companies were no longer successful by following those same rules. The authors of “Three Rules”
realized that most of the so-called lessons of a great many business books, while truthful of those
subject companies, were not the lessons that provided a source for their long-term success. It left
Raynor and Ahmed to conclude, after a very careful analysis, that there were only three rules for
business success.

The three rules of Raynor and Ahamed are:
1. Better before cheaper (Build the product well; stop trying to be the cheapest option.)
2. Revenue before costs
(When the company stumbles, find ways to increase revenue rather than to cut costs.)
3. There are no other rules

Although those three rules are correct, I believe they are not sufficient. We would toss rule #3 out
the window because we know that other rules have to be followed to obtain success.
How do we know?

Developing a process from 55 different management methodologies, the CCCC model emerged
after 4 years of trying, testing, and putting it into practice. The system never faltered during the
early years of experimentation and subsequent practice – not even once. Some CCCC results over
the past decade:

  • A loudspeaker company in Ontario moved from last in its ranking in a group of 9 global
    companies to number 1 within two years
  • An indigenous company in the far north of Canada broke the $300-million sales level while
    employing this ‘system’.
  • A manufacturer in Mexico of plastic cases (used by food suppliers, for example), moved from
    near bankruptcy, to the highest profits in their 20-year history over a span of 1-1/2 years.
  • A patent law firm of 26 lawyers in three Ontario cities, with stagnating growth, moved to nearly
    200 lawyers over a 3-year time span.
  • A steel assembly fabricator in Alberta, with sales of $300,000/yr., climbed to $4 million/yr.,
    over a 4-year time span.

Now onto the rules of business, rules that we feel are essential for business success. We begin with
the Raynor and Ahmed imprint; the rest are in no particular order:
1. Better before cheaper (Build the product well; stop trying to be the cheapest option.)
2. Revenue before costs (When the company stumbles, find ways to increase revenue rather
than to cut costs.)
3. Openly communicate (Every group in the enterprise should have a meeting at least once a

4. Establish a flexible option group (which meets once a month to weigh new changes and
difficulties that come in the door and to develop an appropriate strategy option to deal with
5. Get rid of bonuses and commissions. (Replace them with a fair wage and good management
including consequences for failure to perform.)
6. Listen to everybody in the company. (Create any of 15 listening mechanisms throughout the
enterprise and review all suggestions, advising the employees of the related action for each
7. Since 47% of new hires, nationwide, look for another job within 12 to 18 months, find a more
workable hiring and deployment method. (They exist – but, you must be ready to skip the
traditional hiring nonsense.)
8. Take time to understand what really makes people tick; then put it to good use.
9. The CEO has to monitor the finances with a simple method independent of the financial
department reports. (The CEO must never claim: “I didn’t know what was going on”. This
implies that the CEO must always know what is going on – not sit there impatiently waiting for
the monthly statements.)
10. Nurture your employees (so that they excel; a good manager is one who is in awe of the staff
reporting to that manager. No employee sets out to be a bad employee, and since you hired
this individual, you know that once this person appeared to be the best of the lot.)
11. Make only one person responsible for a task (Never appoint two people to lead a task. Clearly
make Sarah responsible with Harry reporting to Sarah.)
12. Never bundle (Things that are unbundled, are easy to bundle later – finances, tasks, etc.; things
that are bundled, when needing resolution, are like trying to stuff toothpaste back into the
13. Do it NOW! (Don’t put off a small task if you can get it out of the way quickly.)
14. Solve your major problems first (resolve the elephant-in-the-living-room issue, before you
gamely try to improve the company)
15. If you don’t understand something, keep at it until you do – otherwise do not accept it. (If you
can’t comprehend what the person is convincing you of, be in doubt of that person’s
16. Solve problems by getting to root causes, not results of those problems. (The problem of
declining sales might have nothing to do with the sales team, but more of how the organization
is structured, for example.)
17. Give every manager full control of the manager’s defined domain (hiring, firing, assessing,
spending, salary levels, etc.)
18. Clarify your company’s vision
19. Keep lines of reporting clear (so that every employee has only one boss)
20. Beware of MBA’s who shove their MBA at you.
21. Write it down. (We humans really have stupid memories.)
22. Every discussion must lead to a documented action that is followed up (who, what, by when,
and with a tracking mechanism). Otherwise, quite wasting any further time discussing.
23. Learn how to defuse emotions – company-wide (and stop the useless bickering).

Perhaps, later, we will craft a table of more rules that are workable and self-evident.

Good luck,