A question I often ask is; “How do you make fruit?”
I ask this question as most people know the answer and understand the reasons why there is only one answer to this question.
So, the answer is; “You plant a tree”
My first question is normally followed by; “How do you make more fruit?”
Most people answer very confidently; “You plant more trees”, and I then reply with, “So, you can’t make more fruit by counting the fruit on the tree?”
Others react with a very confused look or respond with a very strong “NO”, with body language that suggests I have lost it.
I ask these questions to try and illustrate how insane it is to only look at financial results in an effort to build a successful business, and yet most businesses do this daily. Then they don’t understand why their business has not grown in the way it should.
We live in the 21st century and technology is advancing at a rapid pace, enabling us to automate and measure more of our processes long before it shows in the accounting ledger.
It is time to start using technology in areas other than just finance. And to help you understand which areas, I would like to use the balances scorecard and my fruit tree.
My fruit tree represents your business and the fruit your financial results:
The leaves of the tree represent your customers or clients, the trunk your internal processes and technology, and the roots your people and culture.
When you look at this picture, you will notice that the foundation of your business is your people and culture and if you don’t enable them to service your customers or clients with the right processes and technology your customers and clients will never bear fruit and if they do it might be small and of poor quality.
The question you must ask is, which of these areas do you need to focus on and is there technology that can help you and your team to measure and improve the selected area.