Excuses: Everyone seems to have them

I am sure I’m not the only person who is happy the business planning season is now, for the most part, history. And as usual, there were excuses being used as a way of explaining past poor performance throughout the reviews.

As I sat thru owners’ presentations this year, I learned some excuses people use for poor performance that even I hadn’t heard in my 30 years of business plan reviews.

So, it occurred to me, there should be a different approach that might enable better performance. How? Focus on not accepting ANY excuses in ANY discussion I have with our teams relating to ANY poor financial performance or operational execution.

What was the result of this change?

It’s too early to tell. One thing I know for certain: This change has made for more brief and focused discussions on goal setting. No more excuses. Now only five questions are discussed that will help us return to acceptable performance:

1. Do you understand the goal?

2. Do you have the tools to get the job done?

3. Do you understand the timeframe?

4. How will you know when you have been successful?

5. Can you repeat back to me the goal so I will know you clearly understand the goal?

There is no excuse. I’ll let you know what happens. What do you think? I would love to hear from you.