Looking at the trend
I recently attended an online seminar where Simon Sinek (the bloke who wrote “Start with Why” - terrific book and well worth reading) presented on organisations and their mindsets. One of the key points he made was about concentrating on the trend, not at any particular result at a single point in time.
Initially it is easy to disregard this as simple logic, but in reality, there is a lot of wisdom in these turbulent times about looking at the macro events rather than the micro. For instance, it is easy to see that sales are down this week, but then when we look at the trend for the month (or even the last couple of months) then we can see the actual results, and the real picture of what is happening. That is not to say we ignore the detail as it happens each day, but rather to compare it to what the trend is also telling you.
We are moving into our first Christmas period under a pandemic and there are more questions than answers. Will people still visit retail stores? Will on-line shopping become more normal? Will there be any effect in regional areas? What will the delays in my supply chain be over this period? Will the borders opening up be a good or bad thing?
In times of uncertainty and unanswered questions there are some definite benefits to looking at the recent and long-term trends:
- Future planning is made easier when we look at the longer-term trend in the business
- Stress less about the daily results, and focus more on the longer-term results – giving your mental health a break (or at least putting it in context)
- We are in a pandemic; things are changing daily, and it is too easy to get caught up in the moment
- This year is going to be hard to compare to prior years; by looking at the trend we can compare the short-term trend versus the long-term trend to better estimate the future.
Now you are converted to examining trends rather than daily results, there are a couple of things to start doing:
- Planning – 2020 has been a vastly different year, and 2021 will throw up additional challenges as well. Now is the time to start planning for future success by understanding the current trends in your business.
- Cashflow – with the new plan, it is time to map this out in terms of cash impact into the business, and what actions you need to take now to propel into the future.
- Production cycles – start measuring the trend against the last few years. What is similar, what has changed? How has performance on your team and your industry been?
- Reporting – start getting your daily and trend results automated so the right information over the right time span is delivered to you automatically.
So next time you look at results for the day and start wondering what is going on, remember to look at the trend and get started on that plan!
The Power Tynan team are here to help you with building a better business into 2021.