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5 Overlooked Insights for Improving Company Performance

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Author: Jim Connolly, IndustryLeadingResults.com

Did you ever hear about the mysterious success of the Oakland A’s beginning in 2002? The true story was made famous in the book and the 2011 movie “Moneyball.”

Here’s the one sentence version. In 2002, the Oakland A’s, with a payroll 1/3 the size of other teams, outperformed most other major league baseball teams. And, they continued to do so for the next several years.

What does this story have to do with your company’s performance? Stay tuned.
So, how did the Oakland A’s achieve those results? The A’s “discovered” baseball statistics that were far more predictive of winning baseball games than batting average and RBI’s.

“Discovered”

You might be wondering why “discovered” is in quotes?

It turns out that these “new” stats were not new at all. In fact, they had been published and available to every major league baseball team every year for more than 15 years.
The Oakland A’s “discovered” these insights while other teams overlooked them. The A’s then applied these insights to how they selected and managed players. In the process, The Oakland A’s built a competitive advantage that left other teams in the dust wondering what happened?

What About Your Company? What overlooked opportunities, like those the Oakland A’s “discovered,” does your company have to improve organizational performance and achieve record-setting results?

“We Don’t Have Time”

When the economy is performing well, I often hear company leaders say, “Things are going well and we’re making money. We don’t have time to improve company performance.”

I get it. I’d probably say the same thing if I were in your shoes…unit I realized…

When things are going well, the water rises for all boats. When things get challenging, those companies with competitive advantages (think Oakland A’s) outperform their competitors, sometimes for many years in a row.

Your Company’s Record-Setting Results?

Record-setting results provide competitive advantages such as premium pricing, lower costs, market awareness, customer loyalty and the chance to build lasting competitive advantages.

Even if things are going well at your company now, what is the one area of your company that could be or should be delivering better operational and financial results?
What challenges is that area of your company facing?

• Hiring mistakes
• Undesired employee turnover
• Can’t find right people
• Under-performing teams – sales teams, project teams, leadership teams
• Individual leader performance issues
• Resistance to organizational change efforts (even at the leadership level) that are necessary to move the company forward
• Building a culture focused on achieving record-setting and industry-leading results

Reasonable Excuses

Now, since I know how the brain works, your brain will soon start to think of all the reasons why “now is not the right time,” such as:

“We’re just too busy right now to work on improving our performance”

“Those results might be possible, but not for us.”

“We brought in some training to improve results and it didn’t work.”

“We don’t have that in the budget.”

“I don’t have the energy for a huge change effort.”

“I don’t want to screw up “good” in order to take a chance on “great”.”

These “reasonable” excuses come from the part of the brain designed to conserve energy, resist change and keep us safe. They are reasonable, however…

Cost of Doing Nothing

These excuses are reasonable except when stacked up against the costs of doing nothing:

• What happens when one of your “C” player sales people goes up against a competitor’s “A” player sales person?

• What does a hiring mistake cost your company? Go ahead, Google it. The average cost for a hiring mistake is, on average, 100% of the employee’s total annual compensation – the cost is much higher if you lose an “A” player.

• What if a competitor innovates (think Oakland A’s, Amazon, Uber, etc.) and leaves your company behind?

In short, every one of the challenges listed above costs your company hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars – every year.

Lasting Competitive Advantage

Now is your chance to improve competitive advantage and then, eventually, build lasting competitive advantage.

Jerry Rice said it best; “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

 

Jim Connolly is Founder & CEO of IndustryLeadingResults.com. ILR helps companies systematically apply principles of human behavior to improve operational performance and financial results. Jim has completed more than 2,000 behavioral interviews for his clients.

Whether it’s a company-wide issue or working with a specific department or team, we know how human behavior works so we know how to improve organizational performance and financial results.
Learn more at www.industryleadingresults.com

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