Sales. Revenue. Profit. The reason business is done. But what actually impacts the financial success of a company?
Just recently I heard a conversation in the train going like this: “I would have loved to pitch for that project! It’s totally our topic! Unfortunately I had to withdraw from the request for proposal because the key resources on that topic just left the company and we had no one with the same knowledge.”
I was stunned. How would you even consider a topic to be “yours” if there is no one available in your company!?
This obvious mismatch wasn’t visible for the business man in the conversation. He was convinced that his company was selling topics – and didn’t even consider that people could be the key for financial success.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines a blind spot an area you cannot see and draws an analogy to driving a car. It is quite obvious how dangerous it is when you are entering a part of the road you were not able to see and all of a sudden there is an obstacle. The realization of that danger makes your heart bump and you are bright awake and ready to change directions.
noun [C usually singular ] UK /ˈblaɪnd ˌspɒt/ US /ˈblaɪnd ˌspɑːt/
an area that you are not able to see, especially the part of a road you cannot see when you are driving, behind and slightly to one side of the carCambridge Dictionary
This awareness in context of companies and people is rarely given. You seldom see managers make a mayor change in their people management even when they see obstacles ahead – e.g. declining of sales or rise of attrition.
There is another definition for blind spot that is quite helpful in bringing in a new perspective.
a subject that you find very difficult to understand at all, sometimes because you are not willing to tryCambridge Dictionary
When you are facing failure in business, e.g. the missed proposal of the mentioned story, it is easier to focus on aspects that you are familiar with [“that is our topic”], than on aspects that are much harder to understand [“we missed to keep our key resources” or “we missed on training new people in that knowledge”]. But an honest reflection in the sight of failure can work miracles for you.
If your company is selling services and knowhow, your biggest asset are the people who serve and bring in their knowledge. If the people leave, your service leaves. If your people are not trained, your company will deliver poor quality. Ultimately you will see the effect in your P&L.
Let me challenge you a bit:
- How do you see your people?
- Do you think they actually like working for you?
- What could you do to keep your people in your business?
We all have blind spots every once in a while. Let’s make sure that we don’t keep them due to laziness to check on them and unwillingness to change. Because when it already has an effect on your P&L, it is quite late to take turns.