The unforgettable scene from “A Few Good Men” with Jack Nicholson drives home an unfortunate reality: many of us can’t handle the truth. Often, we build illusions and constructs to avoid telling ourselves the truth about what is really going on in our lives. Face it, humans have an incredible capacity for self-deception. We see what we want to see, not what is really there.
I see this reality at work with business owners on a regular basis. I never cease to be amazed at how many of them don’t measure their activities or results on a consistent basis. Flying blind, they simply dive into their work each day, hoping for the best.
In a meeting with a local Ottawa entrepreneur, he admitted that he had no idea how his company was doing this year as compared to the previous fiscal year. He explained that he would have a “better lay of the land” once last years financial statements were completed…
…sometime next spring!
What you don’t measure doesn’t get better
Why don’t business owners measure their results more consistently and more accurately?
Time is definitely a factor. Many owners are drowning in overwhelm! Stuck working IN their business, they have little time to work ON their business. Although most would agree with the importance measuring their activities and results in order to improve them, few of them have the time… Or should I say “make” the time? But there is something much deeper going on here.
I am convinced that the #1 reason most owners don’t track their business more intentionally is because they are intimidated by what the tracking might reveal.
Let’s be honest… All of us have areas where we feel incompetent and insecure. (Well, at least those of us that have some measure of self-awareness.) We have hunches about areas of our business that need improvement. We make guesses about what might help us get better results. But hunches and guesses are not a wise way to build a business by design. We must make the switch from hunches to metrics.
The truth about your business
Serious professionals are not afraid of the truth.
Although humbling at times, the truth allows you to address shortcomings in your business and leadership that are creating bottlenecks in your organization. If you’re truly committed to growth and results, you have to be willing to face the hard truth revealed by accurate measurement of your performance.
It’s the most effective way to improve!
So, can you handle the truth? When is the last time you had an objective look at your business? Are you measuring your activities and results? If not, why not? If so, what are you measuring?
In the meantime, remember this…
The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.
If you would like to chat with us about an objective reality check for your business that could have a significant impact on your planning and results for 2017, 2018 and beyond, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you get there!
Face the truth, and reap the rewards!
Until next time,