Turbulence (August 2015)

Earlier this month, we took a family vacation to Niagara Falls. The history of the falls is amazing as is the fact that it is a tourist destination for people the world over. The falls are clearly a natural wonder (although I realize it doesn’t make the “top 7” list) but it’s absolutely worth the trip. Two of my favorite experiences were the Cave of the Winds on the US side and White Water Walk on the Canadian side.  On the Cave of the Winds tour, there is a section called the Hurricane Deck where you can stand in the falls and feel a small fraction of the immense power of the water. On the Canadian side, the White Water Walk allows one to walk along some Class VI rapids (which are generally considered not runnable).  The rapids are caused by an extreme amount of water being forced through an opening that narrows along the way with various obstructions along its path (a much more complete and technical definition of turbulence and its causes can be found on Wikipedia).

WWW2As I stood there watching the water, it reminded me of something I tend to experience at some of my clients, especially those that are fast moving and trying to accomplish a lot in a compressed time frame. Things can get chaotic. Truthfully, I enjoy a bit of chaos, seeing how people respond and the resultant growth in both individuals and the business.

I see those that sit by and take no action. The chaos continues day-in, day-out. There are complaints about why no one does anything. Nothing gets better and the company makes no strides toward improvement.  Over time, profitability withers.

On the other hand, there are almost always people that that rise to the occasion.  They dive in and start to remove obstacles where they are able to do so. They enlist the help of others where they cannot. They look for solutions and present options for improvement.  They take action.  Sometimes mistakes are made along the way but the consequences are small and can easily be addressed as the cost of any small mistake is far outweighed by the progress brought about by swift action.

Gradually, the waters flow smoothly again and the company realizes that what seemed like a huge obstacle is now part of normal day to day operations.  The business grows and so does profitability.  This is progress. Day-in, day-out there are lots of actions that make operations smoother.  Challenges faced by forcing more through the system stretch people to a point they previously didn’t think possible.  Those with self-awareness soon realize that more is possible and seek out the next challenge knowing that they will find a way to either move any obstacles in their path or go around them.

As you think about your business ask yourself these questions.   If you are in a period of chaos, is it due to recent growth and are people actively trying to smooth the waters or has the same turbulence existed for months or even years?   If all is calm, is more possible?

If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you.  Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to [email protected] The archive of these monthly newsletters is posted at the Resources section of homza.com

your cash is flowing.  know where.®     Ken Homza    Copyright @ 2015 Homza Consulting, Inc.


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