by Tom FitzGerald
Profits and performance are a direct function of Corporate Decisiveness.
As part of our corporate renewal/turnaround work, we commonly measure some 100 corporate attributes that cause, affect, underlie and predict the performance of companies. These are Leading Performance Drivers.
Of these, one attribute stands out above all others as having the greatest effect on success and profitability. And this attribute is a key component of most of the others, directly influencing traits such as Assertiveness, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Morale, Psychological Age, indirectly affecting factors like Quality, Recruitment, Training, Vision, Zeal. In fact, it is at the root and origin of an entire alphabet of performance drivers.
It is CORPORATE DECISIVENESS. This attribute has itself a number of components. The four most obvious ones are:
Of these, it is the first three that are truly significant; rightness is rarely a problem.
When we measure the components of Corporate Decisiveness we find that there is a direct, positive relationship between speed, importance, commitment and the performance and profitability of companies. Faster decisions are related to increased performance. The more important the decisions made, the more profitable the company. The greater the commitment to implementation, the greater the overall success.
World class companies consistently score high in Corporate Decisiveness. Troubled companies score consistently low. When we find profitable companies with low Corporate Decisiveness scores, we know that trouble, in one form or another, is brewing. When we enable low performing companies to increase their corporate decisiveness, increased performance follows. Often immediately.
However, Corporate Decisiveness does not refer to the decisiveness of the CEO as an individual, though such individual decisiveness does have positive effects. Nor does it refer to the decisiveness of individual managers, though that has positive effects too.
Corporate Decisiveness refers to the decisiveness of the organization, expressed by and through its management team. It means that the management team, as a team, acting as the company, on behalf of the company, makes rapid decisions on the important issues and commits viscerally to their achievement. And then carries them out.
When a company is small, the decisiveness of the CEO can be that of the company. But as it grows, that is no longer enough. Beyond a certain size, no matter how decisive the CEO is, unless the management team as a team is making these decisions (and making these commitments) a strong positive relationships with performance does not show.
To use a sports analogy Individual decisiveness is akin to the technical ability of an individual player. Corporate Decisiveness is akin to the competence of the team. And a powerfully functioning team of average players will beat a poorly functioning team, even if it has great athletes.
Increasing Corporate Decisiveness is the surest way to higher profits and improved performance. Of all corporate improvement programs, it is the fastest and most reliable, it has the lowest cost (virtually free) and it delivers the greatest bottom-line results. A significant increase brings at least a first year increase in profits of 10%.
So how do you increase Corporate Decisiveness?
The process is extraordinarily simple, requiring only the commitment of the CEO. We created the process over ten years ago out of our experience with over two hundred organizations. It has been proven time after time on the bottom lines and in the competitiveness of companies you know.
The process begins with management's assessment of the decisiveness of the company. Here is a sample questionnaire that addresses the corporate decisiveness attribute. It is not an employee questionnaire. It is designed for CEOs and senior managers. If you are a CEO or managing officer, we would be happy to process and evaluate your team's responses to this questionnaire. There is no charge.
Put your response (1,2,3,4,5) in box on right.
1 = NO!! 2 = NO! 3 = NEUTRAL 4 = YES! 5 = YES!!
Copyright 1999 - FitzGerald Associates
Tom FitzGerald is a bottom-line oriented, consulting management
engineer, who specializes in effecting major improvements in profitability,
performance and growth. He