Merriam-Webster defines the noun sign as, ” something indicating the presence or existence of something else… something (such as an action or event) which shows that something else exists, is true, or will happen(Merriam-Webster on-line Dictionary).” For example, traffic signs are in place so drivers can be informed and warned in order to properly navigate the road or plan ahead for conditions. Signs are extremely important. As a business owner, do you heed the signs concerning your company? Consider the following:
• First, does your company have signs? Are there key indicators in the business that inform and/or warn management that the business is operating correctly and moving in the right direction? Are forecast of future signs considered on an on-going basis? If there are no signs in your business, then management is operating blindly.
• Are the signs taken seriously? If there are signs set up and considered consistently, are they dealt with honestly and frankly? Jim Collins stated, “When you start with an honest and diligent effort to determine the truth of your situation, the right decisions often become self-evident. It is impossible to make good decisions without infusing the entire process with an honest confrontation of the brutal facts(emphasis mine)(Collins, Chapter 4).”
• Do the signs lead to action? A traffic sign that says Stop or Detour does nothing for the driver unless the driver takes appropriate action. Likewise, a cash forecast that indicates a reduced or negative cash position three months ahead is worthless to an owner who takes no current action to change that future condition.
Signs are vital to a business of any size. They can mean the difference between success and failure. Make sure that in your business you have signs, they are taken seriously, and actions are taken that drives your business to success.
*Collins, Jim (2011), Good To Great, (United States: Harper Collins Publishers Inc.), EPub Edition