Back in the 1990s my brother’s software company invested millions in “Six Sigma” consulting that did nothing for the company b/c the software sucked. All the employees knew what was wrong, but management refused to listen. The employees left and started their own companies (and got rich) and the company went belly up.
I tell this story b/c it illustrates how people rely way too much on outside advice. They do this b/c they are afraid to face reality, they do not trust themselves, or b/c they want “easy” answers (a formula to follow).
We have wasted thousands of hours trying to follow outside advice only to figure out that the outsiders did not understand our “inside” enough to give good advice. This is very common. We also learned to trust the excellent advice of our inside staff.
Instead of getting outside advice, simply ask: (1) what gets you more business? (2) what costs you business? and (3) what can you do to be more efficient?
The key is to do this regularly, to be very honest (face reality), and to actually make changes. At JVM, we meet in small groups every week to assess things and make concrete changes.
Coaching/Consulting is sometimes needed for discipline, new systems or a better mind-set, but it is never a panacea and it can be a very expensive distraction.
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