Traveling is always an adventure, and every driver knows the most powerful source of information can be found on their dashboard. Oil level, engine temperature, gas level, and other vital statistics are placed directly in front of the driver. If any of these indicators goes into the red, it’s time to seek help.
Just like the dashboard on your car is crucial in keeping you on the road, having one for managing change is key to monitoring the impact your Transformational Initiatives or TIs have on the company.
But what’s a TI? Basically three or four major focuses – defined by yourself with direct input from your leadership team – that will help close the gap between where your company is and where you want it to be.
These TIs can be anything – from grooming the next generation of company officers to finding new markets that can yield high return, to determining the growth strategy for the next decade. The importance of these TIs can never be underestimated, so tracking them at all times is where the dashboard comes in handy.
Each TI will be linked to a crucial measurement that resides on your dashboard. For example, if one of your established TIs is to expand your company by purchasing a smaller competitor or new factory, one dashboard indicator will have to show you the cash on hand to conduct the transaction. This way, if an opportunity presents itself to buy a smaller enterprise, you can immediately set a course based on what your dashboard reads.
Other key indicators on your company dashboard will vary depending upon where you are and where you want to ultimately be. Your dashboard might also display the current volume of sales, on hand inventory, business development pipeline, days sales outstanding, average time to close a sale – whatever critical elements you need to see every day.
When considering the merits of a dashboard, it’s important to note that time is a critical factor in this process. Your TIs are going to create long-term enterprise value, and in the best situations, will have a high-impact with only medium risk. So don’t panic when the odometer on your dashboard keeps clicking up the days, weeks and month while your TIs remain in the far distance.
Remember that the dashboard is a tool that shows you the information being fed into it – think of the old computer programmer saying: Garbage in, garbage out. That means your department heads or managers have to keep the correct information flowing while the leadership team is busy driving – regular reporting keeps everyone focused, and the gauges correct.
A dashboard can be an excellent tool, and linking it to your TIs can help you monitor the progress everyone is making – and when you finally get to “here” you’ll be amazed at where the journey first began.