Dashboards: Can You Handle the Truth?

The following scenario is often the case in most companies. Someone has a revolutionary idea during a board meeting about a new company initiative, and there is a lot of agreement and enthusiasm. However, when it is time to implement the new idea into place, there is dragging of feet. Getting a company dashboard will fit into this category.

A dashboard to organize and manage the company’s content can do wonders for sales and increase business productivity. However, it is easy to say in a meeting, “let’s get a dashboard,” and not realistically see how a dashboard will affect a company. Most companies do not realize that getting a dashboard is the equivalent of placing a mirror up to your company’s face. With some companies, this dashboard “mirror” will only show a beautiful reflection looking back. However, with most, the dashboard “mirror” will show all of the company’s warty areas.

Mice, Furballs and Dashboards

Implementing a dashboard can be similar to getting a new pet. A new kitten bought from the pet store might seem like a lovely addition to the family. The initial joy soon evaporates after you encounter the dead mouse your new kitten brings home or any coughed up furballs. In the same way, a dashboard can be a great idea to implement until the finance director encounters all of the company’s “dead mice.”

Dashboards are an effective measurement of viewing a company’s strengths and weaknesses in an easy to read format. If managers were able to predict all of the areas that a dashboard showed their company were doing poorly in, some of them would not bother to implement one. So before you start this project, honestly ask yourself, “Can I handle the truth?”

Can I Handle The Truth?

Before implementing a dashboard, every company should adopt realistic expectations of what the dashboard will reflect about their company. This is a great time to assess how well all areas of the company performs. If you are reluctant to get a dashboard based on the “warts” it will show, then maybe you should think twice about doing so. Some managers are even afraid of viewing what is negatively affecting the company’s return on investment (roi) or the return on its marketing investment (romi). Yet if managers are afraid to view these failings, they are also not able to realize that dashboards can be blatantly obvious ways of how to correct company weaknesses. Instead of sitting through board meetings wondering what areas are failing in sales and revenue, a serious study of the dashboard can show all this.

If you have honestly asked if you can handle the truth and believe your company can, then you can proceed with getting a dashboard. This is because you realistically expect that what the dashboard will show will not be pretty. This shows as a member of the company, you are mature enough to look at its failings or weaknesses and try to do something about it.