Is your business already killing it this year or have you fallen behind and now have some steep hills to climb as you get back on track?
Or maybe a better question is, do you know where you are really at?
It may be possible that you are not measuring the proper indicators or that the tools that you are using to measure your results are not giving you the “story behind the story.”
One of the secrets to business success is knowing what to measure and how to interpret the results!
For this post, I will assume that you have selected the correct indicator. So the question that we need to address is; “How will you report, view, and interpret this key indicator?”
Although there are many answers to this question, one great solution is to use a Rolling 12 Month Trend report.
Rolling 12 Month Trend
The book review for this week is What’s the Future by Tim O’Reilly.
O’Reilly outlines the process he uses to understand and successfully identify developing trends that will make an impact in the future. He explains how to build this set of tools and mindset in yourself and in your organization. There are many great examples and personal stories provided to illustrate the concepts that he is teaching.
The last section of the book identifies a number of societal shaking trends that are developing and how we can position ourselves and our businesses to leverage these trends successfully.
My takeaway from this book is what O’Reilly calls the business model map for the new economy which consists of the following seven components outlined below and shown in his graphic:
This week’s book review is The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly.
Kelly is one of the founders of Wired Magazine and is a well-respected futurist. The Inevitable describes 12 trends that Kelly predicts will have a major impact in our society over the next 20+ years. These are listed below:
Recently I came across a nice little tool called the QPM or Quarterly Priority Management. It is essentially a simple table that can be used to effectively manage progress against your top five strategic objectives.
The QPM tool itself comes from Kraig Kramers in his book CEO Tools: The Nuts-N-Bolts for Every Manager’s Success (Book & CD) although it is not a unique idea. I have also seen very similar tools from Les Hewitt in The Power of Focus Tenth Anniversary Edition: How to Hit Your Business, Personal and Financial Targets with Absolute Confidence and Certainty (7 Day Focus) and Bill Hybels and his book Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs (6 by 6 concept – Axiom 16). However, the QPM tool is uniquely focused on monitoring your top five strategic objectives and the progress against those objectives each quarter. The following table is an example of this.
Over the last couple of weeks I have posted a few articles on measuring key business indicators, How Do You Measure Success, and formatting a report for these indicators, What is a 12 Month Rolling Trend, so that you can look for important trends in your business.
One aspect of watching for business trends is to look at the general state of the economy so that you can ensure that your business is prepared for potential marketplace shifts. One of the best tools I have seen for doing this is from Peter Navarro and his book Always a Winner: Finding Your Competitive Advantage in an Up and Down Economy
. In this book he lays out and defines the following formula;
GDP = C + I + (X – M) + G