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Catalytic Management
Turn Your Head and Cough

No one likes to get an annual physical.  And it is equally as rare to find a business owner, CEO or manager who loves examining the health of their business.  Managing the Health of Your Business was the topic of a recent presentation I gave to the Women’s Business Network in Wellesley.  The topic was triggered by my recent trip to the Doctor.
At my recent annual check up, the doctor listened to my heart, took my pulse and blood pressure and said, “Yep you’re alive”.  YIPPEE!  Great news but I already knew that.  The outstanding issue was just how healthy am I?
Next the Dr. asked me the standard questions.  “Any physical changes since last year?”  To which I answered, “Yes, I’m 20 pounds lighter and working on another 10”.    She then asked if I had any stress in my life. Well dear readers, I don’t know about you, but the last time I didn’t have any stress in my life I was a freshman in college.  So, yes I have stress in my life.  Her next Mensa question was “Is there anything bothering you?”  I thought for a moment, just a moment, and replied:  “Well there’s Global Warming, the recent financial collapse, famine in the Sudan and oh yeah, that gaggle of presidential wannabe’s whose resumes all begin with, “I was born on planet Zenon.”
After reviewing my blood tests and declaring that the cholesterol, sugar, calcium etc were fine, she said:  “Well keep doing what you’re doing, take Pecid for that pesky reflux and come back in 12 months”.
Take Pecid and keep doing what you’re doing, no root cause discussion or analysis.  When you look at the health of your business are you doing the same thing?  What business indicators do you monitor to manage the health of your business? 

A survey of the members of the Women’s Business Network, found that most people monitor profitability, margins, pipeline activity, client retention and maybe client satisfaction.  Guess what?  You’re monitoring the symptoms and not the root cause.  Declining profitability, reduced margins, minimal pipeline dollars etc are all symptoms.  They are the lagging indicators.  
So what should you be monitoring?  Why your clients of course!  I don’t mean after the fact customer smile surveys or a once a year account review or check in.  I’m talking about consistent conversations with your clients or customers. One on one live conversations, driven by meaningful questions like:
  • What need drives your purchase of our product or service?
  • What are the consequences of not meeting that need?
  • How does our product or service contribute to the success of your business?
The answers to the above will tell you in advance where the health of your business is challenged.  Hire an outside firm or person to do the interviews to insure honest answers.  Interview current clients, past clients and lost clients.  And then act on their improvement recommendations, strengthen the value you deliver and insure you remain relevant in the eyes of your clients.
So after pushing my Doctor to find the rood cause of more than just your average reflux, tests indicated I have a stomach problem.  Gee, what a surprise.   Don’t be surprised by warning signs of the health of your business.  Talk to your clients now and every quarter thereafter.  Then drink a big glass of wine or eat a chocolate candy bar, you’ve earned it and after all, they’re health food!
For root cause analysis and solutions that are based on your unique business situation,
call Catalytic Management now. 

Ask your clients these questions:
  • What needs ddrives your purchase of our product or service?
  • What are the consequences of not meeting that need?
  • How does our product or service contribute to the success of  your business?

Catalytic Management
67 Edgehill Road • Stow, MA 01775
Phone: 978-562-5001 • Web:

Catalytic Management specializes in business performance and growth consulting
including sales effectiveness, customer service and business process improvement for companies
in New England and the Northeast.
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