Carl Yastrzemski is one of my baseball heroes. The hall of famer played during his major league career for the Boston Red Sox. One of the reasons for his greatness was seen early in his career. Yaz was struggling with his hitting and he asked one of the greatest players of all time, Ted Williams, to take some time out of his retirement to help him improve his hitting. Ted watched as Yaz took batting practice and said, “What is going on with that crouch (Yastrzemski, p.74)?” Yaz was standing in a certain crouch that he had not even noticed. Williams told him to “straighten up a little, Yaz! That’s right, now you can use your knees more to move within your stance (Yastrzemski, p.74).” After another lesson or two, Yaz’s batting improved dramatically. Notice the principles he used. He had a desire to improve, he knew where he was today, and he attacked the area that could help him improve quickly. He became one of the greatest players of all time.
These key principles apply to almost every company looking to improve profits and shows how to improve company financial performance. The key principles are as follows:
- A desire to improve– A company or individual that simply tries to maintain the status quo will start to decline. Companies either continuously improve or get worse. There is no standing still. Company leaders owe it to their customers, their employees, and themselves to grow and become better. Life will be more enjoyable. Not growing nor improving is no way to live.
- Know in detail the financial status of the company today – This is the only way to measure improvement and even more importantly, to know which area needs improving. This is the reason the accuracy of financial statements are so critical to the financial success of any company. Accurate financial statements reveal strength and weak areas and point management to those areas that need attention. Make sure the financials are accurate and face the reality of what they reveal!
- Attack the area that can produce the quickest results first –Why is this important? Obviously, improvement starts right away but even more importantly, quick results builds confidence among all team members and a desire to continue the growth process.
How to improve company financial performance? These principles reveal what is possible and create a focus for your company to pursue excellence.
*Yastrzemski, Carl (2007), Yastrzemski