It is hard to imagine a more stressful and complicated environment than a fighter jet. Along with flying the plane, the pilots need to navigate and deploy several systems, very often under highly physical and dangerous conditions. Just like fighter pilots, business owners are constantly multitasking, stressed and in danger of being overwhelmed.
As decision-makers, business owners are often overcome by the different information at their disposal, particularly in today’s data-driven world. On top of this, many times, they are pressed into making decisions quickly.
For a fighter pilot, the solution to this situation is dealing with the information that matters most (keeping the plane in the air).
Out of the hundreds of switches and dials in the cockpit the biggest and most centrally located instruments are altitude, speed, horizon and compass – these are the measures that matter.
In business, the same principle applies. Out of hundreds of pieces of information coming out of business systems, owners should quickly and accurately be able to find measures that matter – things that keep businesses going, in all aspects of the business and make these the most prominent. These can be turnover, gross profit, cashflow, inventory, customer satisfaction, anything that really is crucial to your business should be easily measured and reported.
Like fighter pilots, keep the measures that matter to a small number, ideally three to five, and design your business systems to have them readily available. This will allow you to make instant assessments of the business performance and react in a timely fashion.
Leave the more detailed analysis and reporting for times that are more quiet.
In today’s unforgiving business world decisions need to be based on accurate & timely facts not emotion. Sometimes disaster is one wrong decision away.