Last week I opened my reflection with, ‘wow, what a week this has been.’ This statement is equally appropriate to use this week, although it carries different meaning this time around. Last week my team had made our first loss. This was not just a loss, but an $8 million loss. To make it even worse (although it’s not surprising), our shareholder plummeted to about half of what it was. This week it is the polar opposite. Our profit has seen close to a $19 million turnaround, and consequently our shareholder value has quadrupled. There is however some issues to solve.
These issues are largely ‘superficial’ and to prevent myself from getting side-tracked, I will focus on just one: lost sales. This to me is both a good and bad sign. It is a good sign because it shows there is a great deal of demand for our products (although it could also just say our production or prices are too low). On the other hand, we have missed the opportunity to bring in additional revenue, profit, and overall SHV.
However, for the first time, these issues seem to be JUST superficial. What I mean by this is that we finally have a framework for decision making which is as close to scientific as we can get and we are at the point where we can filter out good and bad advice – bad advice usually meaning misinformed. Decisions are no longer submitted with a cavalier and hopeful attitude, but are backed up with calculations and/or constructive discussions and even debates as Lundquist (as cited in Buchanan & O’Connell, 2006). Clearly what I am implying here is that we did not do these things before. Decisions have been described as the ‘end of deliberation and the beginning with action.’ With us, at least for most of MikesBikes, decisions were not deliberated, but rather were winged. This was down to both a lack of knowledge and probably a lack of commitment – possibly due to our busy schedules, or maybe it just a lack of effort.
Anyway, what are we going to do next week? It would be both arrogant and naive of me to just say ‘more of the same’ for next week, especially considering the dynamic nature of MikesBikes. What I do say is that we need to keep this sensible approach to decisions making and use it to enhance our business. If there is any take-out from this week it is that decisions don’t need to occur on a scheduled Monday meeting, but they need to be justified. This may seem obvious, but it is easy to justify poor and lazy decisions with ‘there will always be some risk.’ For me, this attitude is gone, and I think this lesson and personal development in my thinking will serve me well in the future.
Buchanan, L. & O'Connell, A. (2006). A brief history of decision making. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 32--41