Do Australian boards need to make better decisions?

board of directors

In difficult economic times having accurate factual information to make informed decisions is critical for the boards of Australia. Working with ‘gut’ based decisions is no longer an option. 

“The information we have is simply not good enough for us to make proper business decisions” is the claim from most of the boards I speak with around Australia.

Many business executives have a good measure of their organisation and a natural instinct of how things are. However any businessperson making ‘gut’ based decisions in the current climate is making risky moves.

It takes fact-based decisions, based on real data, to safely run an organisation.

I have previously spoken about a great business man I worked with for many years, who had the greatest clarity in running a business I have ever known. I called him JD before and for the sake of this article let’s continue to do so.

JD said that running a company was like steering a ship through a sea full of icebergs and without fact-based information organisations were likely to hit one and sink.

He said that without being able to navigate based on factual information and a great deal of clarity, many businesses in tough operating conditions would end up like the Titanic!

So if we can’t see the problem clearly, or we take our eye off the ball, then an iceberg may just blindside us.

Of course he was absolutely correct; as without information we are working blind . . . a scary thought for any business executive!

The following are the four main reasons executives around Australia give for navigating blindly:

1. “We have many back office systems and getting a clear view of our data is difficult”

2. “Our IT department is working on a data warehouse, but it takes time”

3. “We are developing a reporting solution in-house”

4. “It would be very costly for us to achieve a BI solution”

Are these reasons apathy or excuses?

In this day and age, with great data visualisation tools such as Qlikview (yes we sell this product for the sake of transparency!), you can deliver accurate results in days or weeks and with a very small investment.

If the excuse then becomes “but what about the quality of our underlying data” I have another great bit of news for you – these types of products have the functionality to monitor and highlight errors in your data!

So now there is really no excuse.

Take the word of JD move to fact-based decision making or face going down with your ship!

  • Success and achievement in life comes down to the choices you make, choosing the right people, tools and equipment in order to reach your goals. Having the correct and up to date information is essential for you to make decisions confidently to manage your business activities. Having expertise, experience, professionalism and competent people on your team is a valuable and worthwhile investment in yourself and your company for sustainability and future growth. Having the correct financial procedures and cash flow management systems in place based on analytic reports and regular business health checks (all formatted in easy to understand terms) is just part of having a proven system

  • Perhaps you should have a read of this article:

    Sounds to me as a bit of a conflict in ideas.

    • Scott

      Hi Paul

      Most business leaders tend to have good natural instincts however as my article suggests as a business grows it becomes impossible to rely on gut instinct alone.

      In the current economic climate having real-time information at your fingertips to make better informed decisions is critical.

      Gut based instincts is a gamble and one most Australian boards don’t fancy the odds on!