If you had my wife as your boss, you would have improved your cost management system years ago. You see, Sue’s not one for accepting excuses or procrastinating. She could have been Nike’s inspiration for “Just Do It.”
When it comes to improvement, most of us “delay” instead of “do”. “Today we have a generation of men who suffer from ‘loser’s limp’.” says Tony Evans in his book No More Excuses. “Anyone who has competed in sports knows what I mean by ‘loser’s limp’. It’s what happens when an outfielder misjudges a fly ball and misses the catch, or when a wide receiver drops an easy pass. They fall to the ground and get up limping. The purpose of the limp is to camouflage their failure.”
A lot of managers have developed a “loser’s limp” when it comes to improving their cost management system. Some managers drop the ball by continually deferring or ignoring Activity Based Management (ABM). And those that have ABC software models misjudge the urgency to train non-financial employees how to use ABC data for ABM cost improvement.
Why do managers procrastinate?
Leap instead of Limp We need to start looking at obstacles as opportunities for success rather than as excuses for failure. Alejandro Garcia had numerous excuses he could have used to postpone ABM at Camionera del Golfo, S.A. de C.V. … he’s the budget manager not the cost manager, ABM books and software were in English instead of Spanish, and senior management would not fund the purchase of software or consulting services.
Alejandro was committed to leaping those obstacles. To begin he entered ICMS’ June 2000 free software contest … and won! Using the ABM Toolkit he received from ICMS, Alejandro successfully self-implemented in less than eight weeks. In a September 2000 letter he excitedly shared, “Now we are beginning the product costing to present an ABC Profit & Loss report. CMS-PC 4.0 brings all the information to make it! We are planning to present our results to the corporate CEO in October 2000 and start with the continuous improvement in all the ADO Group!” Your obstacles may differ from Alejandro’s but your solution can be the same … leap, don’t limp.
Happy wife, Happy life These four simple words have served me well for 31 years. If Sue’s happy, we’re all happy. For the past year I’ve offered some pretty lame excuses as to why I can’t lose some weight, e.g. I can’t eat right on airplanes, it’s too hot to exercise, my foot hurts. So much for my Loser’s Limps. What are yours? I’ve scheduled a comprehensive physical at the Cooper Clinic & Aerobic Center in Dallas. And I’ve asked my accountability partner to help me keep my commitment to improve my health. Join me. Stop procrastinating, professionally and personally. Let’s not limp into the 21st century. Let’s run!