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Work and Win as a Team: What We Learned from the Mission to Mars Blog Feature
Marty Kaufman

By: Marty Kaufman on May 26th, 2022

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Work and Win as a Team: What We Learned from the Mission to Mars

Executive Insights

Many years ago, my leadership team engaged in a super cool exercise to come up with our core values. It was called the Mission to Mars. We learned about it from the book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish.

If you’ve ever participated in something like this, it’s likely that you still remember it. The exercise went kind of like this…

Everyone pretends that you have to send 5 people from the company to Mars as ambassadors. The Martians don’t speak English, so these 5 people will have to represent us through their actions. Once everyone had their lists, we shared them and talked about why we chose those particular employees. Our core values were the common attributes of these people.

It was amazing that we really could connect the essence of who we are to the traits displayed by our employees. It was so deep that I actually teared up as my emotions were carried through the “why” and the values that define us as a company.

Fast forward from our experience with the Mission to Mars to a more recent exercise.

EOS Processes to Set People Up For Success

About four years ago, we embarked on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) for managing our company. EOS is simply a way to run meetings, develop talent, and get things done.

Two key processes of the system are called Right Person Right Seat (RPRS) and Get It, Want It, Capacity to Do It (GWC), which identify the potential success of a person in a certain role. The premise behind these tools is that everyone has a place somewhere; you just need to find where.

Looking back, it almost seems like a luxury to have had the time to set aside for this kind of deep reflection and team building – and it’s become even more important now.

Developing People Is a Must

In the last few years, companies have had to run their organizations in ways they could never have imagined just a short time ago, and it’s put pressure on their people. As a result, team building, training, onboarding, and general operations have been disrupted, and implications of the disruption linger throughout the globe.

Despite all of this, one thing has not changed.

Good companies need good people that are in the right seats (even if the seat is at home).

I am proud of our team at Accent for being able to help our team members find the right place for their respective talents even as the world is changing.

It’s not easy, but it’s vitally important to continue developing people as individuals so that they can find their best seat and thrive!



About Marty Kaufman

Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.

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