It is all about the Numbers
It depends; sometimes it is about certain numbers, sometimes it is the trend rather than the number itself, and sometimes it is about behaviors, or lack of behaviors behind the numbers that are as important, or more important than the numbers themselves.
- A 10% decline in profitability, year-on-year, is not a bad thing if there has been heavy investment in R&D, or infrastructure, that will increase profitably in the future considerably for a short-term lack of gain.
- A 10% increase in profitability for short-term gain, which may impact on the sustainability of longer-term profits can be masking the bigger picture.
- “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” (attributed to Disraeli by some and Mark Twain by others) describes the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster otherwise weak arguments.
- It’s not supposed to be Fun; that’s why it’s called Work
It depends; there are very few businesses I have come across that are not dependent on the quality, co-operation and buy-in of their staff, and not just their key high potentials. Google and Facebook have demonstrated that their service is a product of their staff environment as well as their talent.
- All people, but particularly the Gen Y’s, relish environment (other things being equal) and in a free market people won’t put up with certain standards and measurements, perceived as outdated.
- Free thought and inspiration, in my experience, rarely thrive in a strict rules based environment and the “hygiene factors” set the tone.
- There has to be underlying standards of expectations and standards set from the start, but these need to be both personal and team orientated so that people buy into the goal and their willing cooperation.
- Don’t just Sit there, do something
It depends; yes there are times and situations where urgent and immediate action is required, but there are other times when a “knee-jerk” reaction, or a pre determined to-do list won’t necessarily generate the best output.
- Thinking time is not a luxury, but often provides the most effective decision-making, and a considered opinion is often more productive than your first instinct.
- Activity and productivity is expected and required in any position and at any level, but only the right activity generates the right productivity.
- “Measure thrice, cut once”, “Hoping for the best takes no time at all, but preparing for the worst does” and “Even it there turns out to be no better way, ensure you have thought through and considered every other option” are 3 mantras I learned from a very trusted offshore sailor and it has saved lives as well as careers.