It is absolutely amazing how many of the dynamic managers of today believe they have it all together and then find that although they have all of these new sales coming in there is still a shortage of cash.
In my experience and when I am invited to review their businesses, there is immediate evidence of poor cash management and a complete disregard for financial management. No budgets, no KPI’s, no understanding of the P&L, and an ignorance of what a balance sheet is.
What I have learnt in my years of heading up large, medium and small organisations is a need for disciplined controls and I can also get the most traction for companies by getting them to avoid the mistakes I have made along the way. And can I be honest here, there have been many.
As an experienced executive/director I have been there and done that. I have learnt from the best companies from around the wheel and have always espoused that opportunities cant be wasted by re-inventing the wheel. If there are better ways of doing things then I would embrace them.
I have really been around the block and have gained a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills along the way including sitting on numerous boards and executive committees. Life experience to me is invaluable and so it should be for the newer generation. I have been able to apply a level of wisdom to each particular task, project and/or objective within a wide range of enterprises and bring the younger enthusiastic would be executives into a realm of realistic thinking. Strategic thinking based on personal experience and success.
Businesses that are struggling or even growing should be proactive in considering a mentoring programme where experienced executives can impart or even confirm productive thinking to younger minds where together the results can be outstanding. The fostering of intergenerational relationships and facilitating the breaking down of stereotypes that would contribute to age discrimination will only underpin results that lead to sustainable growth, profit and wider success.
I look at my role in business turnaround and mentoring in three (3) value adding ways:
- It brings business clarity – It develops strategies and the plans to turn the strategies into outcomes. It draws on the current strengths within the business and assists in improving identified weaknesses
- International experience – I can relate through international travel and building relationships with best practice companies around the world. This will bring those who desire it, along on the journey and make them marketable company assets
- Lead not manage – It is important to make everyone in the business feel an integral part of the decision making process. Communication is the key to success in any Strategic Business Plan/Endeavour. Always seek common ground wherever practical but never be afraid to make a tough decision. Wherever practical, relationship nurturing must be an important focus. But again, if someone isn’t working out, make the right move and cut with compassion.
If I could just finalise this post with some important thoughts of the financial management side of the business.
KPI’s measure the effectiveness of a function within the business. They will also identify trends of the operation which allow management to be pro-active in responding to either adverse and/or improvement performance measures. KPI’s are especially important for accounting and financial management.
A flexible and robust reporting system is essential for monitoring KPI’s and provide reports which measure compliance with statutory requirements.
Could I suggest that your business give strong consideration to the use of an experienced and successful ex executive who would more that pay for his/her services in operational improvements.