Modes Framework

Modes Framework

We’ve designed this page to help you understand and benefit from the Modes framework. It includes these resources:



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Overview of Modes

A Mode is the success outcome you are looking for. The Mode combines how you define success, manage your service delivery offerings, lead your teams, build systems, and develop partnerships.

A Mode reflects a way of business thinking and acting. It’s qualitative, quantitative, and more than an unchanging label. Company owners change Modes over time and experience different needs. Modes are not determined by maturity or size. Instead, different Modes exhibit different maturities (OMLs) across the range of business performance.

We have defined four Modes: Startup, Balance Builder, Value Builder, and Empire Builder. Use the resources below to learn more about the Modes framework, your Mode, and how Modes impact you, ConnectWise, and your customers.

Modes Resources

Key Questions

What’s your destination?

What is the mission you’re on? What does the endpoint look like? (Think Where.)

This is your Legacy Plan. For Evolve groups who have been doing the Legacy Plan well they should have a number and they should know what impact they’re trying to drive. This shouldn’t be a stretch at all to have that clarity.
What’s your journey?

What is your vision or description of how you’re going to get there? (Think How.)

This is how you’re going to get to your destination. This is where the Modes come in. Are you going to try to do it by disciplined savings over time? Are you creating enterprise value and dealing with a transition in the future? Or are you using external money and build to your destination quickly?

What’s your time horizon?

How long do you have to get there? What are the milestones? (Think When.)

This is how much time do you have. Time is what partners underestimate the most. They fail to understand the impact of decisions. Two years before you exit is not the time to go out and start acquiring companies unless you have a very good strategy for how you’re going to do that. You’ll typically drop your EBITDA which lowers your value at exit. You must understand the impact of time in this process.

Modes Partner Profile Videos

Startup Mode: How Robert Moore built his company

Balance Builder Mode: How Anne and Keith Schoolcraft built their company

Value Builder Mode: How Dave Shaffer and Jim Kehres built their company

Empire Builder Mode: How Mike Williams built his company

Modes Transitions and Insights: Buddy Martin explains how his company progressed through multiple Modes

Modes Transitions and Insights: Kevin Blake explains how his company progressed through multiple Modes

Next Steps

There are two main options to start:

  1. Self-Led Journey. Use these resources in a self-service approach to your journey as a business and within the ConnectWise ecosystem.
  2. Facilitated Journey. Let us help teach what we've learned working with partners, match you up with the right tools and provide strong decision support.


The next step is to decide to start. When you proceed there are three simple options to take:

  1. Understand your Assessment Report.
  2. Discuss the results with your partners, teams, and peers.
  3. Plan IT Nation activities for you and your team through 2022.
    1. Conferences (ITN Connect, Explore, Secure)
    2. Community Groups (Share and Meetups)
    3. Evolve Peer Groups (Service Executives, M&A, CFO, and more)
    4. Leadership Development (GiANT, University, other resources)
  4. Consider sharing parts of your Assessment with ConnectWise colleagues to improve understand and guidance related to your Mode.


Resources To Help You Succeed
(Available and Under Development)