I like simplicity. I like things to be straightforward. I like stuff that really works. And we all know that in business it’s often the simple things that do work best.

And over the years, I have been fascinated by the fact that those who succeed in business have an obsession for the facts and figures. Not the overblown detail which obfuscates the issue of business or executive performance. But the real figures; the “no hiding place” figures; the no excuse top-line; and the absolute bottom-line.
And the measurement of the key result areas – those activities that create the result.

During one of our one-to-one sessions, my client Frank (who runs a small business) said that although things were going really well, he was a little behind for his big sales target for the year.
OK. So what would it take to get on track? And could you get back over that target in the next month?
Well, says Frank, it would take “£x” of sales this month.

Now, that would mean Franks biggest month ever… and that’s someone who has been in business for a couple of decades or more. A tall order. So we laid down the challenge.

A month later, Frank is positively glowing.. I can see it in his whole being. Did he do it? You bet!
What made the difference?

i. Sitting down with the key member of his team and getting serious about the business: Being FRANK (excuse the pun) about what needed to be done. Two people, a table, a notepad, and an open-minded willingness to succeed.
ii. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. What really creates the results? Everything else is just “commentary”.
iii. Creating a “no excuse” environment, and getting the team onside.
iv. Diary control.
v. A simple monitoring system for recording the most important results, clearly visible (as opposed to some complex spreadsheet hidden away somewhere in the bowels of a computer).
vi. Belief, determination and productive persistency.

Ask yourself: Does my week-by-week, month-by-month system for measuring productivity
a. Exist?
b. Pass the “Paxman” Test? (would it stand up to scrutiny by the infamous Jeremy Paxman?)

Well done Frank, and thanks for letting me use your story.