Modes Framework

Modes Theory™ Assessment and Resources

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


Overview of Modes Theory™

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

A Mode Mindset 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 Mindsets: Startup, Balance Builder, Value Builder, and Empire Builder. Use the resources below to learn more about the Modes Theory, your Modes Mindset, and how Modes impact you, ConnectWise, and your customers.

Modes Theory Resources


Key Questions

Where are you going?

What is your destination and what are you trying to build? (Think Where.) What is the mission you’re on? (Think Why.)

This question reflects your Legacy Plan. Partners who are completing a Legacy Plan should have targets and know what impact they’re trying to drive. It shouldn’t be a stretch to have this clarity.
What do you want your journey to be like?

How will you accomplish your plan and reach your definition of success? (Think How.) What is your vision or description of how to get there?

How you get to your destination is where Modes Theory and Operational Maturity Level™ come in. What is your commitment to maturing your operations? Will you achieve success through disciplined savings or by creating enterprise value with a plan for a future transition? Or are you using external funding to build to your destination quickly?

What is the timeline you are working against?

How long do you have to accomplish the outcome you seek? What are your milestones? (Think When.)

This is how much time do you have. Time is what partners frequently underestimate. They may fail to understand the impact of decisions along their journey. For example, two years before you exit is not the time to start acquiring companies unless you have a very good strategy for doing that. You’ll typically decrease your EBITDA which lowers your value at exit. You must understand the impact of time in your decisions and processes.

Modes Theory Partner Profile Videos

Startup Mode: How Robert Moore built his company

Balance Builder: How Nate Freeman 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

Modes Transitions and Insights: Tony Miller explains how his company progressed through multiple Modes

    Next Steps

    There are two main options to start:

    1. Self-Guided Journey. Use these resources and the assessment report in a self-service approach to your journey as a business and within the ConnectWise ecosystem.
    2. Guided Journey. Let us help teach what we've learned working with partners. We'll match you up with the right colleagues, share our tools and frameworks, and provide decision support going forward.


    The next step is to decide to start. Here are key activities to help you take the next step and maximize your value:

    1. Understand your Modes Theory Assessment.
    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 (Owners, Service Executives, M&A, CFO, other)
      4. Leadership Development (University, other resources)  
    4. Investigate opportunities with Service Leadership Inc.'s SLIQ and Report Bundles.
    5. Consider sharing parts of your Assessment with ConnectWise colleagues to improve understanding and guidance related to your Mode.


    Resources To Help You Succeed

    Available Now

    In Development
    • Modes Webinars and University content
    • Engage with ConnectWise Account Managers
    • Engage with ConnectWise Business Consultants
    • Engage with ConnectWise Partner Success Managers
    • Align with Strategic Planning Methodologies (EOS, StratOp, Strategyzer)