You wouldn’t fly with a pilot that didn’t know how to read and interpret all the dials in front of him. You certainly wouldn’t trust the pilot and his crew if they didn’t have firm understanding of what the dashboard in front of them was telling them and it would be an easy decision not to fly with an airline company that didn’t have a complete set of working dials on the dashboard of the cockpit. So why then would we expect others to trust, follow and want to be associated with our own business if we ourselves don’t have a complete and thorough understanding of the full dashboard in front of us?
The reality for the vast number of businesses in today’s society are flying their plane with either a significant lack of understanding as to what the dials and measuring tools are telling them, or they simply have an incomplete or non-existent dashboard. In some cases, there is a distinct combination of both.
Only 4% of businesses survive the first 10 years of operation and you will struggle to find one of these businesses that doesn’t have at least one pilot guiding the team and their passengers to the chosen destination without a clear understanding of the business metrics and using these numbers and data to guide their flight in the quickest and most effective way.
Warren Buffet always says, “If you can’t read the scoreboard, then you don’t know the score. If you don’t know the score, then you don’t know the winners from the losers.” Whether it is in life, business or sport, we must have a clear and concise scoreboard of data that provides us with the necessary information that in the simplest way possible gives us the score that we require to know whether we are winning or losing. For any new business or any business that needs to improve on their data measuring and business dashboard, I would encourage you treat it like a scoreboard you would see at the football. Make it big, clear, accurate and easy to read what the numbers are telling you.
The real challenge for business is putting together the dashboard of numbers to formulate the scorecard you need to make better decisions that influence the activities your business completes. Too many business owners simply rely on their accountant to provide them with the numbers they feel they require to run their business successfully. Although business is in many parts based on the language of numbers, simply getting a quarterly, or in some cases yearly, P&L and balance sheet is not going to give you the real scoreboard of numbers that you need in your business.
Knowing the key numbers, having it measured accurately and efficiently on a regular basis is the only true way to fully understand where your business is flying to and ensuring that you are the pilot of your organisation. You wouldn’t trust a pilot and his crew if they didn’t have a complete understanding of the plane they were flying… So what makes you think your patients, clients or customers should trust you and your team if you don’t know your dashboard and dials in front of you?