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Setting Up the Right Company Dashboard is Key to Growth

How do you know if you’re winning if you’re not keeping score? Setting Up the Right Company Dashboard is Key to Growth.

How do you know if you’re winning if you’re not keeping score? That’s why we love BIG scoreboards and dashboards at CEO Coaching International. When designed properly, these tools provide an up-to-the-minute window into how your company is progressing, where it could be lagging, and which levers the CEO can pull to get where you want to go quicker and more efficiently.

Even better, a good dashboard keeps everyone in your company on the same page. Tracking the right numbers and making them visible demonstrates your commitment to transparency and inspires each worker to be accountable for keeping those numbers trending in the right direction.

Here are two types of dashboards that our entrepreneur coaching clients use to keep tabs on company progress, as well as a case study of how tracking and measuring actionable tasks is key to Making BIG Happen.

Company Dashboard

This summary-level tool shows you and everyone in your company how well the firm is performing. At a glance, you will see the company’s goals, initiatives, and KPIs and know whether you are at, above, or below target.

A Company Dashboard allows you to:

Know what is happening in your business.
Cut through the daily whirlwind, organize the chaos, and gain a sense of control and understanding of your business.

Identify problems early.
If you measure only results, you risk missing problems that are brewing under the surface. It is much better to have an accountability system in place to detect problems early and address the root causes of those problems.

Motivate your leaders.
When people know they are accountable for their actions and results, they will put more effort in to reach them. If they do not perform, there is nowhere to hide.

Monitor test bullets.
With the right variety of measures, you can be more open to experimentation because you can directly assess the results of your initiatives, scrap the bad ones, and expand the good ones without wasting time.

In order to build an effective Company Dashboard, you must have a thorough understanding of the activities that are most critical to your company’s success. These tasks and KPIs should be fed into your Dashboard after your Annual Planning Session and then updated and reviewed frequently by your leadership team and other key team members so everyone is aligned with what you are driving toward. For example, you might track your quarterly revenue goals, your progress in driving up margins, or how effectively you’re closing the gap on outstanding sales to shorten your cash operating cycle.

Mark Moses: Visibility equals accountability. Make sure everyone understands where your numbers are and where they should be at all times. After determining the key metrics to include in the dashboard, aggregate the data and have it visualized. In my experience, the BIGGER the better. Plaster your Company Dashboard on a wall where everyone can see it. Host a digital version on your intranet and link to it in a weekly company-wide newsletter. Visibility equals accountability. Make sure everyone understands where your numbers are and where they should be at all times. If you see results start to slip, take corrective action.

“Mobilize Your Team in 2022: The 4-Step Guide,” is a captain’s guide for CEOs to lead the company ship from charting the course to mobilizing your crew and making tough calls through choppy seas to reach the shores of extraordinary success.

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Cash Bridge Dashboard

Cash is king, and as CEO, monitoring cash is one of your top responsibilities.

The Cash Bridge Dashboard is designed to analyze and interpret the impact of multiple variables on your cash flow in real time. It is used to build a strategy to extend your cash runway – the number of months of cash you have on hand – or to boost free cash flow to fund a growth initiative.

Think of this dashboard as an “early warning system” that will help you validate cash flow assumptions or alert you to potential “growing broke” scenarios. The Cash Bridge Dashboard also provides long-term visibility of your cash flow so that you can keep it aligned with achieving your HOTs.

To create a Cash Bridge Dashboard, start by listing the key drivers of your cash bridge and leading indicators of future cash contributions. Then, draw up multiple scenarios of increasing severity. Compare actual month-to-date data with those scenarios to know which scenario is in play. Highlight variables that are meeting or exceeding the expectations of the most favorable cash bridge model in green. Indicate signs of concern and downward trends in red. This makes it easy to see which parts of your cash bridge require the most attention.

Case Study: “Balancing” Your Dashboards

Our Making BIG Happen dashboards adapt the “Balanced Scorecard” approach that Harvard professors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton developed in 1992. Essentially, we’re trying to help our entrepreneur coaching clients see their businesses from four different perspectives and answer four associated questions.

Customers: How do customers see us?
Internal Business Processes: What must we excel at?
Innovation and Learning: Can we continue to improve and create value?
Financials: How do we look to shareholders?

Ten-time, Inc. 5000 company Nitel is a big believer in the power of using dashboards like this. When we started working with the company, they generated $40 million in annual revenue. Eight years later, revenue has more than tripled to $138 million. One of their keys to growth was rigorously developing key metrics, tracking them, reviewing them through a dashboard, and taking corrective action when results started to slip.

Start Tracking and Start Making BIG Happen

Look, I’ve heard all of the objections to establishing and maintaining efficient dashboards. No, your company is not too small or too large to benefit from this process. And yes, you can afford to dedicate the necessary resources. In fact, you can’t afford not to.

Like every step in our Making BIG Happen process, this measurement and accountability framework works regardless of the size of your company, the business you’re in, or the goals you’re trying to achieve. Put your targets and your progress where your whole company can see them and you’ll all be that much more motivated to make BIG happen.

For more on how our proven best practices can transform your company, click here to order Making BIG Happen.

About CEO Coaching International

CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 53.5% during their time as a client, more than three times the U.S. average, and a revenue CAGR of 26.2%, nearly twice the U.S. average.

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