Inconvenient Truth

editorialheadsandWhat truths are you avoiding?

It is important to be “all in” when you decide on a strategy. Alignment of your team and your investments is the quickest path towards success, as long as you choose a viable direction! However, you need to make sure that you are not ignoring the truth just because you are emotionally attached to a path.

Unfortunately, the truth is often inconvenient and it is much easier to ignore than plan for.

My oil and gas clients wish that oil prices were higher, but they know that the truth is that they are not and may not rise for some time.  It is inconvenient (and painful!) to do a reduction in force but better than total destruction. It is inconvenient for traditional universities that there are many education options and that their overhead structure is pricing them into irrelevancy but the truth should not be ignored. It is inconvenient for coal miners that other energy options are preferable but the truth is that their jobs aren’t coming back. Brick and mortar retailers wished for years that the Internet would not impact their business, but it did.

We all sometimes put our head in the sand and plead, “Say it ain’t so!” This past election is a great example for many regardless of your choice. As a friend said, there is the optimist, the pessimist and the realist and all orientations are currently being tested.

No one will win a price war with a cheaper producer tomorrow, but some will ignore the truth and try.  Someone will miss their earnings target for the eighth quarter in a row next month and believe that a little more luck will fix the problem.  Some will foolishly believe that the government will protect them (and punish everyone else) from technology advancements.

When you wake up tomorrow, you won’t defy gravity, you can’t fool your customers (for long), you won’t overcome negative margins with higher volume, and you can’t provide good service with employees that you treat like a rented mule.


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