“What happened? We are into the third month of the year and we are already behind? How did we get behind this quickly?” Many of my friends and peers that run companies as are asking themselves. It is not because of a lack of effort. They have the best people, the best of tools and yet, they all seem to be doing the same mistake that they did last year and they want to do it faster this year!
While they have better gauges, headlights, dashboards, brakes, on their cars, they seem to be driving their companies into a brick wall year after year. This is NOT because they have no idea what is happening in their companies. But it seems that the company is NOT coming along with them. It seems they are all blinded by their own organization with the best of tools.
Is there a solution at all?
I have been in the IT industry for the last 20 years and have worked in various industries from IT to manufacturing, from airlines to retail. Very early on during this process in the early 90’s I got to meet the CEO of a fortune 100 company and saw that he was referring to a spreadsheet report with his CTO. This struck me odd that someone that has so many resources at his disposal did not have a visibility tool into his own company. I being me got obsessed with the idea that there was something wrong with the software that ran companies. Later I realized that the problem was that no such software really existed. Over the period of the next 20 years it has become my favorite question to ask CxOs. I have really asked all these really smart and successful people just two questions.
1. Do you use any software to run your company?
a. Literally EVERYONE that I have asked this question have told me that they NEVER use a software.
b. Very rarely I have read of some CEOs that do use software to run their business. Even this is few and far. By and large they all rely up one either power-point reports that are made and thrown after the meeting or an excel spreadsheet where they might get some reports. Most of them don’t even read a full word document. Go figure!
2. My second question to these CxO is “Why?” Why don’t you use a dashboard or a product to get visibility to your organization?
a. The answers range from “They can’t build something that I need” to the most popular, “Our business is very unique”. You cannot build a dashboard for that. We are game changing”
b. My own personal favorite is “Software/ERP/Dashboards are all for them. Not me.”
With all this information collected over all these years I have come to inevitable conclusion:
1. Consistency of Purpose: Most CxO’s are interrupt driven! Meaning, they don’t run their company like a fleet of ships or planes in battle formation. They are extremely interrupt driven. This is because they will do a lot of things that the market wants them. Since most of them are catering to the pressures of Wall Street, Customers, Competition, and new initiatives and their own life span as a CxO is less than two years it takes a special person to put a system that then is followed by everyone.
2. Discipline: CxO don’t have the discipline to see the dashboards on a dashboard. Today, I am a CxO, and I am quite structured to the point that every one of my peers hate me for being anal. It really takes me super human effort to make sure that I don’t manage by email. It always seems easy to just write a one-liner email for information blaming it on the fact that I am on the road or a quick call for information. Once you do that your dashboard is dead! We are the ones that set the rules and we are the ones that break the rules.
3. Technology is not ready: Literally every dashboard, report, ERP, BI tool that is built supposedly for the “C” level people wants the “C” level person to work in a way is most convenient for the tool and not to the executive. This is a main area of concern that “CxO’s” don’t articulate well.
What is the solution?
We need the following from every dashboard that caters to the CxOs:
1. Align with the goals of the company: The key to having a company react efficiently and effectively is to make sure that make sure that everyone in the company is aligned with the company’s objectives. This is possible if everyone in the company is working toward the same goal that is measured on the same platform. Every dashboard has to be aligned with the company KRA in order to allow a dashboard to be useful to the CxO.
2. Adapt to the needs of the market: Most dashboards don’t escalate issues and don’t help adapt to changes in the market. For a dashboard to be useful to the CxO it has to cater to both these needs.
3. Closed loop communication: The worst issue that a CxO faces is to follow up with his or her team on the status of an issue or a task. A dashboard to help run companies should have proactive, closed loop communication on the key issues and KRAs of the organization.
4. Coaching: This is not for the tool but for the CxOs. It is a coaching for the CxOs on how to run and operate companies using dashboards. Please follow this link for more details.
5. Social Alignment: There is a critical piece that is still missing with the best of the dashboards. The piece is to make sure that the company reacts to the numbers shown in the dashboards. This can be possible only when there is a ‘buy in‘ to the numbers shown in the dashboard, only when the people on the floor know that a RED in the CEO dashboard does not mean that ‘heads are going to roll’ but ‘help is on the way’. Then things will change.
But for these 5 changes to happen we need to have a system that enables a company and its employees as a society to change its culture, attitude, and approach to customers. “But HOW?????” Previously it was just not possible. Now there is a structured and scientific way. It is called ‘ox zion” href=”http://www.clubva.com”>ox zion‘ our Enterprise Social Networking Platform.
About Vantage Agora: Vantage Agora’s thought leadership in back-office operations, Enterprise Social Networking, Operational Excellence, has given us unique perspective to the key success factors of an organization. These ideas have been distilled into creating a unique Enterprise Social Networking platforms that can be customized to help you execute your business to success.
- Operational Excellence through operational alignment to the KRA, KPI, & SLA of the organization
- Provides Visibility, Repeatability, and Predictability to your organization
- Helps you adapt your operations to the changing needs of the market
If you have further questions on how you can create/ improve your company dashboards, please feel free to contact us at VA and we will make that difference to your business!