Reporting for Results

Date: Aug 18, 2010
By: Joel Lazer, FCPA, FCA, CIRP


A few months ago I was discussing Lazer Results with an entrepreneurial business man.  He was interested in more engagement from his team, particularly those not in the management group. Lazer Results, an open-book management system, would create that engagement. He was already open with his management team and had a lot of good tools in place. When discussing what he was doing he shared with me a quarterly letter he wrote. The letter was all encompassing. It covered where he had been and where he is going. It set out reasons for why business was good or not so good. It talked about opportunities and things that threatened the business. He shares that letter with his management team and then forwards it to his bank.

I thought Wow. What a great idea. Of course, if you were to do a letter like that, you would need to know your results. You would need to know why your results were good or not. It would cause you to consider where improvements could be made both internally with your people and externally with your customers and suppliers. Then when you share it with your people they would better understand where the business was going and how they can contribute. They would have the foundation to create ideas on how to improve.

Writing this type of letter is consistent with Lazer Results.  I delivered our first semiannual report last week to the team in our monthly office meeting. It covered all facets of our practice. In preparation I considered the firm as a whole and where are we going. I discussed each practice area, their results and how I saw each area developing. We covered information technology. We talked about opportunities for individual team members and for the firm. In addition to the normal organic growth, the team was informed that we are actively seeking firms to either merge with or acquire – a bit of a surprise for some. The report discussed how people might be affected, the opportunities, the difficulties and, even, where people would sit. We discussed our 12/12 graphs and trends – that they are good and we are working on great.

And the results? A comprehensive review was made of us as a firm and of the separate practice teams.  Overall the team knows where we plan to go. We have published multiple opportunities for our people so they can see where they might like to go. There is an increased level of energy with everyone.

How about you?  I highly recommend the process.  The reflecting is beneficial.  Preparing the report puts things in perspective. Sharing it with your management team increases the benefit. Sharing it with all of your people will increase that benefit all the more. 

Let us help.  If doing is knowing, we’ve got a lot of knowledge to share.  And we sure don’t want to keep it all to ourselves.

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