Were you profitable last year?
During a recent conversation with a CFO, I asked whether the organization was profitable and what programs he expected would drive performance improvement in the coming calendar year. With a twinkle in his eye, he laughed and said,
Jack, the reports tell me we’re in the black, but I don’t know how. Walking these halls, I see opportunities to improve everywhere. I get the numbers; I simply don’t believe them. The fact is, I’m drowning in data, but I have no information. You want to talk about performance? First, tell me, truthfully, whether I should have any faith in what we are measuring. Then we can talk about performance improvement.
The Need for Transparency
The underlying issue here is that change management without accurate, timely information is difficult to implement and taxing to maintain. The reasons are myriad, though an overabundance of disparate data points from multiple sources often provides clouded insight into ongoing operations. The old adage of “garbage in, garbage out” has merit. Executives running organizations today are in need of simple, but powerful, reporting tools providing transparency to their organization’s operations. From that, a systematic approach for creating excellence in any organization is possible.
At the risk of over-simplifying the steps of a successful change effort, there really exist only three:
1) Clarify the problem
2) “De-risk” and simplify the change effort
3) Hardwire your organization for excellence
Working with a proven methodology permits effective identification and prioritization of high-value opportunities to be implemented in the shortest time while minimizing organizational risk. It also permits and promotes organizational transformation, yielding a culture striving toward excellence.