Well the summer has started, yet without the boys of summer. If you’re familiar with the prior article on proper communication, then it should come as no surprise that there’s a follow-up. Maybe this one is what happens with the lack of effective communication, or from the Captain in Cool Hand Luke “what we’ve got here is failure to communicate”. Yes, here it is, late June, heading into the always anticipated July 4 weekend, with the headlines of baseball coming soon, but a clear real problem waiting around the corner. From lack of communication? Let’s focus on that aspect and relate it to our businesses and our future, uh, environment.
If you’re familiar with our Roadmap to Recovery, we outline 9 steps to help businesses be proactive in their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m going to reference Steps 1 – 5 today and how communication impacts them.
Step 1 – Team Alignment
A huge part of that is effectively communicating with not only your management team but also your entire organization, keeping them all on the same page. Do you have concerns? Share them, as most likely someone has the same concern. And who knows, a member of your team may just have a suggestion.
Step 2 – Assessing Government Programs
Those programs are great ideas with good intent (we think), second guessed by a lot of those both inside government and the media (which may be caused by overcommunication). Ignore the chatter. Consult with your advisors and make sure you have the right level of education and guidance, along with proper documentation. Increase effective communication with those you trust.
Steps 3, 4 and 5 – Cash Flow Analysis, Financial Stress Tests, and Reforecasting Budgets
These steps can only properly be done in a team environment, with all hands and a few scenarios on deck. Sure, you need a true financial geek to run the models (admittedly I am one of them, so this is not an insult, it’s a confession) but you really need the input and suggestions from all of your team members to get a feel for reality. Ask questions. See what Sales has to say about what your customers are saying. Reach out to them yourselves, they’d love to hear from you. Production can talk about plant issues, and operations can help steer the supply chain train. Finance can keep the cash headed in the right direction.
So, to keep yourself from being dejected….
…and to keep you from picking the lock to find answers…
….bring the team together and share best practices, thoughts, and ideas. Here’s hoping you hit one out of the park.
Mike Derringer is an Area President with FocusCFO based out of Columbus, OH