business consulting

I know This Much Is true

Be honest to yourself, you can leverage your honesty!

How many times have you been in a business situation and found out that things didn’t turn out the way you thought?  What went wrong?  Odds are that you had a feeling that things were not going to turn out the way you expected or the way you told others.  This can be embarrassing and be a hard blow to our business esteem.  That feeling is what I want to talk about.  It is the feeling of truth and you can capitalize on it.

There are many things in our businesses that we can say to ourselves and to others that we are 100% confident in.  These components of our businesses can guide us through the uncertainty.   I call it leveraging the truth.

Here is an exercise for you to perform to get you through some or most of the uncertainty that torments our businesses.  You can go over this task with your confidants or you can do it by yourself.  You will need a whiteboard or spreadsheet and a notebook.   Now you have to take the parts of your business that are absolutely true without question and place them on the left half of a white board or on the left side of a spreadsheet.  I prefer a whiteboard.  Keep the list to the top 15 truisms about your business.  Now on the right side list the top 15 things you are uncertain about, the questions you think of but never get solid answers.  Come on, if you really are honest with yourself and this is what this exercise is all about, you will be able to think of 15.  Even seasoned top executives do not have all the answers, they don’t tell people this but they are aware of the uncertainty.  OK, you have finished the first part.  What you have built is your corporate puzzle and now you have to solve it.

Here is how the puzzle works.  Starting on the right side of the board or spreadsheet read the first uncertainty.  Now keeping that in mind slowly go down the left side of truisms one by one and ask yourself how this true statement affects the uncertainty.  Each of the 15 entries should have some effect on the uncertainty.  Write down your observations positive or negative in a notebook.  After some hard thinking you should have 15 commentaries for each uncertainty.

Here is an example: If on the left side I wrote down the cost on my products are x dollars and I can not better them within my current state and on the right side I have an entry about growing my business and entering the wholesale market (it is on the right side because I am not sure how to get there) now I can see that there is a correlation between the two entries.  I now have to think about the two, Can my pricing lend itself to the wholesale market?  Would there be enough margin in this businessline to keep my business going?  What if I had another entry on the left about a big contract I just signed.  Will this volume be enough to reduce my product costs so I can enter the wholesale market?

You can see that you begin to build a dialogue about every uncertainty that is built on a foundation of truth.

At the end of the exercise you should have a true basis to take you through the uncertainty whether it is justification to proceed to expand or a clear rational of reasoning to drop that initiative.

This process can take while but it is an investment of time in your company to help you answer some tough questions that might not have been obvious.  It is always better to be honest with yourself so don’t be afraid of the truth.  If you don’t have the answer, admit it.

Have fun with the exercise and Good luck. If you need business consulting, The Loz is here to help.