August 2012
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Month August 2012

Metrics to monitor

In, or with any company, here are some key metrics to keep your eyes on:

  1. Top and bottom-line growth
  2. Revenue growth rates v. market rates
  3. Product mix ratios
  4. Other product growth
  5. Gross margins by product
  6. Pricing and revenue per unit, by product
  7. Cash-on-hand and cash growth rates
  8. Earnings guidance; and report “surprises” to management

It was wonderful, marvelous, magnificent, superb, glorious, sublime, lovely, delightful…

A neat article about one of my favorite tools:

The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.

Specifically, check out the Word Notes; especially, DFW’s.

 

The “clarity paradox”…

Greg McKeown, writing for Harvard Business Review:

Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

  • Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
  • Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
  • Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
  • Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure. So, always be mindful/thoughtful and careful.

PRAXIS

PRAXIS IS THE PROCESS BY WHICH A THEORY, LESSON OR SKILL IS ENACTED, PRACTICED, EMBODIED OR REALIZED.

A term in use since Aristotle … praxis is one of the three basic activities of humans beings (the others being theory and poiesis or skillful manufacture). Praxis in Aristotle includes voluntary or goal directed action … sometimes the action is itself part of the end, an action done for its own sake.

*Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy*

Be forward-thinking in your practice of business …

Cost concepts for sales managers

At a minimum, make sure your sales management team understands basic cost concepts, such as:

  • cost drivers
  • activity-based accounting
  • customer profitability
  • value-add and value chain analysis
  • target costing

And,  a cursory understanding of the role of cost information for tactical and strategic decisions is helpful too. Use tools such as: budgets, variance analysis, benchmarking, transfer pricing and the balanced scorecard to illustrate planning and control and performance measurement systems.

All of this is useful to help facilitate a successful implementation of an organizations’ strategies.

Five leadership lessons from Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy

Key learnings from the three movies:

  1. Organizations need to be built around ideas, not people.
  2. Actions matter more than intentions.
  3. Trust people with the truth.
  4. You need to risk failure in order to succeed.
  5. When you do fail, don’t let it destroy you.
 These lessons will help you build and lead your own organization(s).
Source: Forbes.com