Don’t Settle For ‘Flat is the new Growth’

It’s that time of year.  Company bean counters are looking in the rear view mirror and preparing reports for the last month and the last quarter.  In fact, they are getting ready to begin preparations to close the books for the entire year.

It’s also a time for the operations team to take a good hard look at 2010.  I’ve been in a number of meetings and conversations lately and the catch phrase is that “flat is the new growth.”  In other words, if your 2010 top and bottom lines were flat (the same as last year), consider yourself among the fortunate.  Consider it a job well done and move on.

Those with a vested financial interest in your company may not always have the same empathy, but unless you are operating in a handful of niche markets, it has been incredibly difficult to realize any financial gains.

This certainly does not mean that you have not grown professionally.  Perhaps you learned early on to cut expenses, or to jettison a less profitable part of your business.  Maybe you’ve become a more disciplined organization and are better at holding your leadership team accountable.

What you should not have learned however is to settle.  Settling for less than expected results can become a dangerous cultural attribute.

This year is over … don’t beat yourself up over less than stellar numbers … but please don’t settle for those results either.  2011 is right around the corner and you’ve got big dreams to fulfill!

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