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Do You Know the Tune?


When listening to music, we can often hear a small portion of a tune and immediately know the whole piece. It’s fantastic as you can revel in your knowledge and understanding of how the tune goes and where and when it ends.

If we then extend this example, just hearing one note of a tune will make it impossible to identify which tune it came from (unless you’re absolutely brilliant or lucky – or both!)

Similarly with business – if you’re given enough information, you can understand what, where and how the business is going (even get a basic idea as to how it will end up). But if you’re not given enough information (eg: one note), you will simply have no idea.

Like many advisers to business, we find that the successful operators will generally have a good grasp on their figures and “understand the tune”. Those that run in to trouble generally pay little or no attention to them and are happy listening to the one note all the time with no idea as to how it fits in with any tune.

This is where regular, meaningful, reporting and analysis comes in to it.  By keeping an eye on how your business is going (band is playing…) and understanding how it’s meant to play, you’ll be like a conductor (or band leader) – able to make changes and improvements as you go to enable the sound to be as melodic and mellifluous as possible.

From the perspective of your management and internal reporting, how often do you “listen to the music”?  How often do you sit back and try and improve the playing.  If you just listen to the one note forever, you’ll not only become bored, you’ll be come tone deaf and you’ll also lose all context.

So, if you’re wanting to run a great business, be like a great band leader or conductor – listen to all the notes your band is playing.  Rehearse and practise as this will improve your performance.  Communicate regularly to your band the tune you want them to play – let them appreciate what it is you’re wanting to sound like together.

That way, you should have a great band and a business of note!

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