Glue And Oil Business Solutions

Glue For Cohesion.

Oil For Smooth Operation.

Business Solutions For Sustained Growth.

Our clients are described by a combination of ....
  • Small to medium size company
  • Any industry
  • Privately held and often multi-generation, family-owned
  • For profit or non-profit
  • Track record of success
  • Success is harder because what got us here isn't working anymore
  • Change is anticipated and we want to be ready

Their leaders can be overheard saying things like this ....

"Our growth has caused us to add people, layers, and complexity to the organization and we don't have the structure to help us scale effectively."

"We haven't had much of a need to plan in the past. The organization looks to me to make all of the decisions. But now I can no longer touch it all so we have to find new ways to make sure the whole team is rowing in the same direction."

"Our organization has outgrown the leadership team and I want to make sure I have employees in roles where they can thrive. And that includes me!"

"The demands on me have taken a toll on my health and my relationships. I need to figure out how to share the load."

"I'm thinking about my transition out of the company's leadership role and I realize how unprepared the organization is for that change."

Right Match?

Ensure Glue And Oil is the right fit for the organization and vice versa.


Assess Needs

Perform a Glue And Oil operational leadership assessment to identify needs. Some examples of needs include a strategic plan, an annual business plan, quarterly priorities, clarifying accountabilities, improving decision making, assessing employee/role fit, and revamping meeting cadence and effectiveness.

Prioritize and Go

Prioritize and Go

Build a plan for the sequence of addressing the needs. Select one or two to start with that will energize the team and produce value quickly.


Strategic Planning

Create a roadmap for the future, including mission, vision, values, business imperatives, and initiatives. We specialize in helping organizations who have never had a strategic plan.

Business Coaching

Business Coaching

Provide tools, education, and assistance to the leadership teams of organizations to help them define and establish their "way of doing things".


Fractional Integrator/Implementor

Lead the coordination of business activities. You can focus on vision, strategy, and customers knowing the leadership team is in sync.

Our Founder image
Steve Harris is the Founder and President of Glue And Oil. His broad experience allows him to bring life-changing value to his clients. Steve has worked as an employee and consulted with all sizes of organizations. He has been the top leader and the get-stuff-done guy. He has experience with all business functions.

Steve's experiences have taught him the value of having "a way of doing things". His passion is helping clients benefit from those learnings to institutionalize their "way of doing things".

Not surprisingly, Steve has a passion for structure and believes it is a critical component of consistent and planned growth. Steve is hands-on by nature and enjoys rolling up his sleeves to work with clients.

Click here for Steve's LinkedIn profile.

We believe in the power of operating systems! 

Most of us first heard about operating systems in the context of computers. Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux are all examples of computer operating systems, as are iOS and Android in the mobile environment. In all of these cases, the operating system provides a foundation upon which layers of applications can be stacked. These applications handle specific functions. 

The operating system isn't concerned with the specifics of the applications. Instead, it coordinates the applications and establishes requirements that must be followed for the applications to behave properly. Sounds pretty important, doesn't it?

Well the same concept applies to businesses. In the case of a business, an operating system provides the foundation that helps get stuff done. It is essentially the business's way of doing things. The actual work is done through the applications, or functions like marketing, operations, IT, etc... The operating system ensures the overall activity of the organization is coordinated, that work is planned and prioritized, that performance is measured, and that the organization operates smoothly.

A business's operating system will include the following:

  • Vision and values that are clear and easy to understand.
  • The definition of success (measurement) in the short- and long-run.
  • Mechanisms that connect vision and values to strategy; strategy to plans; plans to actions.
  • Defined methods for making critical decisions, like those involving people and priorities.
  • A communication cadence that ensures the right people are focused on the right things at the right time.
  • Consistent execution of key processes.
  • Tools to assist with all of the above.

One more thing about an operating system. While it's highest purpose is to help the entire business operate in a coordinated fashion, the principles apply to the business functions as well. So if you need to get more from a function that is a barrier to the business's achievement, implementing the concepts of an operating system for that specific function will provide the boost that is needed.

Sure you can. That's how most companies operate in the early days. If the company is fortunate enough to grow, it becomes more complex over time. There are more people to coordinate, more products/services to deliver, more external partnerships to manage. There are more problems to solve. There is more competition for resources. This complexity makes it harder for any individual to call the shots. When multiple people start to call the shots, assurances need to be in place to make sure everyone is working from the same playbook. That is the role of the operating system.
The basic responsibility of an operating system is to define the way a company will operate. Arguably, all companies would benefit from such definition. However, putting in place an operating system and committing to following it is an investment. A growing company typically encounters a period where growth has slowed or growth is still happening but it's just harder than it needs to be. These are signs that it is time to make the investment.
Yes, often when the company is on the cusp of a significant strategic investment. Examples include expansion of the leadership team and embarking on the pursuit of rapid growth through from new markets, new products/services, and/or acquisitions.
No. We are aligned with the principles of these methodologies but have decided to remain independent. Each of our clients has unique needs that often call for unique approaches. If an existing platform is a good fit for our clients, then we can help with the implementation. If another approach is better then we help construct and implement that approach.
The operating system concepts also apply to a segment of an organization. For instance, if the marketing function or operations needs an overhaul, the challenge can be tackled by applying the same principles as would be used for developing an operating system for the entire organization.