Now that we are past June 30, it’s a good time to take a look under the hood. How are things going in your organization so far? It’s not too late to make critical adjustments to get back on track if results and performance are falling short of expectations.
Revenue and expenses: As I said in a previous post, projected expenses always seem to come in right on time but projected revenue can be tricky, especially these days. If your revenue is not tracking according to plan, you need to decide whether:
- It is just a timing/seasonal issue (be careful-there is a potential trap here, however)
- You can somehow make it up by doing something else (careful here, again), or
- You need to reduce your revenue projections going forward.
This is a big decision and one that takes guts. Your board may not like to hear what you have to say, but better to reset its’ expectations now, rather than in December when things may be even worse.
If you expect revenues to fall short, better to figure out now just what future expenses can be deferred until next year or what programming changes you can make to protect your financial base. Its’ always better to do these hard things now rather than later in the year. They just get harder and usually the cuts have to be even more draconian as you move into the last quarter of 2012.
Personal Performance: Another issue leaders face is employee and volunteer job performance. Do you have anyone on performance management? How are they doing? Can you say they have stepped up and are now performing up to expectations? Congratulations if so.
However, if you have volunteers or employees with performance problems you should address them now. What are you waiting for? Performance problems usually do not improve over time without proper attention and so each should be confronted and addressed immediately, too. A good performance management program more often than not usually results in successfully fixing problems rather than termination. But, it has to be direct, timely, clear, and fair.
Business Plan: Finally, take a look at your current year’s business plan. Can you still accomplish all it calls for or have unanticipated events totally disrupted things. If so, better to speak with your board now.
And, how do you decide if you should make the board president aware of problems like this? I use two rules of thumb I learned from a chairman I once served under as CEO. He told me two things:
- No surprises
- Don’t call me in for the crash landing if you didn’t call me in for the take off.
Good advice that works on several different levels. I hope it helps you. And, feel free to call me to discuss it further.