It is never the vehicle in front which blind-sides you…

How do you uncover Business Troubles?

When we look at our business reports we need to ensure we understand what stories they are telling us BEFORE we move to decisions and actions.
In your business today do you honestly know what is going on in these 5 areas:

  1. Your strategy
  2. Your controls and governance
  3. Your processes
  4. Your people
  5. Your resources and assets

If the answer is “no” to any of these, even a ‘maybe, it most likely means you have some business troubles!
business is in trouble image
In my recent posts I have been looking at how business boils down to these very simple steps:

  • Decide the Business Purposes and Goals: Setting the strategy, planning, missions objectives and targets of the business
  • Establish Where you are now: Assessment & Analysis; reports on current status can also include analysis and comparison against where you want to be and info on where you came from…
  • Take Action to get to where you want to go: Decisions and Actions made about what to do and when and how to get to where you want to be.

And so far have examined:

So hopefully you now are moving towards business reports that are relevant and slim-line, targeted at supporting you work towards your key objectives….
But once the report is in front of you how do you see the story it is telling?
Firstly, find the story – By looking at how the data is changing over time, trending up or down and comparing the information to prior periods and industry benchmarks where possible – you can see how you are comparing and tracking, downturns will quickly be identified
Secondly, understand the drivers of the storyWe define Business drivers as any aspect of a business that effects a change on another aspect of the business; ask what influences are at play affecting this particular information covering all five aspects:

  1. strategy?
  2. controls and governance?
  3. processes?
  4. people?
  5. resources and assets?

Finally, understand the levers that can affect the story We define Business Levers as aspect of a business WE can change to effect a change on your business outcomes, think of your levers as being “a handle to adjust your business mechanism”; decide what Action you can take to favourably impact this particular story again assessing all five aspects to find the most effective:

  • strategy…
  • controls and governance…
  • processes…
  • people…
  • resources and assets…

There will be influences outside your control, such as economic downturn, and levers that may be slow or expensive to change, but by covering all five bases as part of your decision making process  you are sure to examine all aspects of the story and so avoid getting blind-sided by something off your radar!

Do you get the full story from every report?