“Power is nothing without control??? That declaration from Pirelli may be my all-time favorite advertising tagline.
It was a hit for Pirelli???s high performance tires years ago but comes into my mind in so many diverse situations. Businesses that harness their power control their future and, surprise, are more fun to run. In true Brickyard style, there is one core essential every business owner needs to feel in control: a single piece of paper that tells you the key pieces of information about how your business is doing.
Most business owners I meet are either overloaded with reports, have the wrong reports, work from data that is way too old, or have very little data. You need information systems in place, and they need to deliver information that allows you to get a daily snapshot of the business. At the end of every day, you should be able to scan a simple 8?? ?? 11???inch piece of paper and know exactly how your business is doing. Once I put this in place in my business, I was able to leave the office each night and know how much we billed out, how much we collected, and how many transactions we processed. The kind of data that is critical may differ from business to business (although not as much as you may think), but the end result is the same. I knew how we were doing in seconds and I knew it in real time on a daily basis.
Think it only works for small companies? A few years ago I had the pleasure of hearing General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt speak. When asked how he keeps track of one of the largest companies in the world, he replied (in essence): ???I can go back to my hotel tonight and see how the entire company performed today from one screen. If anything is outside the norms I set, I can inquire further. But I always know how we are doing around the globe from that one screen.???
Think Immelt spends a lot of time at his desk? Hardly ever. Think he knows how his company is performing? Yep. In real time at any time.
That is power and control.
What would you put on your daily 1 page snapshot?
When will you have it in place?