Corrosion is insidious. You don’t see it happening. It creeps up on you. As company leaders how are you dealing with this? It is your responsibility. Leaders are the people in the company who are charged with predicting the future. Everyone else is doing the now work that pays the bills.
Prediction is as challenging as corrosion is harmful. Only using reports or dashboards that tell you how the company has done will likely be too late. They are helpful but not sufficient. Not if you want to get out in front of a creeping, seeping, silent, future disaster.
What if you could see the problem coming? What if there was a way to predict outcomes? How about tracking activities that, based on our company history and knowledge of it, we know lead to the outcomes we want? A leading indicator of new clients and sales might be product demonstrations. How many demos do we need to do in a week to predict the level of sales we need each quarter to be a healthy, growing company? Statistical sampling of the products you build before you ship them to customers is a proven way to assure quality in your products. Applying that concept to human activities make sense.
Try this to avoid corrosion
Start by creating a spreadsheet of activities that happen every week. Pick one for every major function in your company. Start with the ones that interact with your prospective customers and current customers. Decide which leader is responsible for that activity (the people doing it report to her). Agree on the number of times that activity should happen per week. Then start recording the number each week. Compare the how many times the activity is happening to the weekly goal you agreed upon. If the actual isn’t greater, equal to or less then the number (whichever comparison is good) then figure out why and take corrective action.
I guarantee that if you try this for 13 weeks you will discover something that is corroding that would be a problem in the future. If you don’t, I guarantee that the positive results that you are achieving is because the company knows that you are watching and everyone is making sure to carry out their responsibilities. You can expect what you inspect. Either result means that your company is healthy and growing in the direction you desire.
Here is an earlier blog about how one type of scorecard works, the one I teach my EOS clients to use. It also has a link to download a sample scorecard. The same link is provided below. If you try this out, let me know how you like it or if you need help, let me know.
Photo credit: LadyDragonflyCC