Be Accountable to the Facts! (May 2007)

Last Month, I discussed organizations that were “avoiding profits” by avoiding conflict. While there are some that thrive on conflict, I think it’s fair to say that most people prefer to avoid it. However, business conflict doesn’t have to be confrontational, disagreeable or argumentative if people start with the facts! That is why solid reporting of business results (both financial and non-financial measures) is critical to the health of the organization.

Rather than discussing differing points of view and arguing over vague and accusatory sounding statements, a much more rationale discussion can be had if both parties have the facts and are literally looking at the same sheet of paper. Let’s look at a few examples:

An employee tends to show up late and leave early while still clocking 40 hours. Rather than confront the employee with a statement such as “you’re always late”, present them with actual hours for a week and ask them “Why they should be paid for time they didn’t work?” Most likely, they’ll agree with you!

A customer recently questioned whether a vendor could handle the business. The customer feared that the vendor would be “swamped” because they had “a lot” of product to ship. Upon further probing, the vendor learned that the order wouldn’t even amount to half a truckload per week (whereas they consider a truckload per day a big customer).

Customer service staff report that everything is “under control” yet the facts report that customers are on hold for nearly an hour. If there were a proper reporting of call statistics, there would be no debate.

I talk to many companies about their performance. It’s amazing how few times someone can speak using numbers and percentages. Rather, it’s we’re doing “great”, or worse, “OK”, which means they probably don’t really know how they are doing.

Recently I attended the annual military skills competition at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Arguably, this is the most accountable place on the face of the earth. This trip serves as my annual reminder of what accountability really means! Many businesses could learn lessons of accountability

To Avoid Conflict, Don’t Avoid the Issue! Just Talk Numbers! You’ll take both the emotion and the conflict out of the discussion!

If you need help with your business, financial plans, or goal setting, please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to And, remember . . . Your Cash Is Flowing. Know Where.

Copyright @ 2007 Homza Consulting, Inc.

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