Year-End Results: Executives vs. ‘Excusetives’
Big companies seem to have a faculty for accepting bad results. They sometimes feel that they are too big to fail. Losses from a specific project may appear small when compared to the overall, good or bad performance of the company.
When this happens, losses are accrued, books are closed and life goes on. This is even more noticeable when the fiscal year end coincides with the end of the year; the Christmas spirit and hopes for the new year also help us gloss over and accept bad outcomes.
Performance reports bring with them a wide set of creative excuses and justifications. Executives are sometimes worse than the kids who claimed their dog ate their homework. Some typical excuses include blaming the economy and market performance; blaming providers is also very common.
Reporting company performance is not just about numbers, it comes with attitudes and biased thinking. It is in our nature to want to blame somebody else for disappointing results. When an external factor is available, real or subjective, it looks more convenient. Blaming the economy is the perfect tool to cover bad management.
However, executives are hired to deliver results, not excuses. Nobody hired them to be “excusetives,” always having a justification under their sleeve. The following concepts may help to set ground rules that can prevent a march of excusetives at the end of the year.
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