Dashboards, destinations and directing the future

By Mike James | 14th April 2020 | Advice


Sportsinjuryfix.com ambassador and all round clever thinker Dave James is a coach, mentor, speaker and podiatrist. Using coaching and mentoring he works with healthcare business owners to make a health business out of health, advising the video, social media, authenticity and story telling. Dave has kindly shared his thoughts on using dashboards to shape the future (and his fluctuating waist line)

Over the last few years my weight has crept up.

Nothing really that major, but a few pounds here and a couple of pounds there.

All very small increments and something that day to day you wouldn’t notice.  Being tall helps apparently.

But over time it all adds up, you feel less sexy than you would like to be and you end up with a whole new wardrobe of bigger clothes.

There was even a couple of comments from people poking fun at a my slightly larger abdomen!

All of that felt very uncomfortable (in more ways than one) and it reached a point where I had to do something about it.

So at the beginning of 2019 I set a target for weight loss, aiming to be a set weight by October - a time when I knew I would be speaking on stage in front of an audience of around 900 people.  Yeah, there’s some vanity metrics in there, but that’s not a bad thing, right?

The goal was written down in big letters on a board at home and I set about the task.

But it didn’t go smoothly.  

From January to July I faffed around.  No major changes to anything that would help me with my goal.  I wasn’t putting on weight, but it wasn’t being lost either.  I was exercising and as far as I could tell my nutritional status wasn’t that bad.

The tipping point came when the deadline loomed closer.  What I was doing wasn’t working which meant I needed to do something different.  So in August I took some great professional advice and started to monitor and measure my nutrition and my exercise, with a focus on understanding exactly what I was putting into my body and how it was serving me.

Everything changed and in the end I succeeded.  In October of 2019 I reached my target weight.

Not over the 10 month period I planned, but over a much shorter three month period.  The reality was that I could have lost the weight earlier and quicker, but I didn’t.

So what changed?  What was the difference?  What made this a success?

The key was having clear and useful information.  Stuff that I could measure and monitor to tell if I was on the right track.  Things that challenged the beliefs that I held strongly.

So what exactly does this have to do with your healthcare business?  That’s a great question - let me explain.

In order to be successful (whatever that looks like to you) your business needs a destination, a direction and a starting point.  One of those things is great, two is even better, but all three and then you can pretty much work out the majority of things you need to do to progress and move forward.  

The more of these things you have the easier it is to create the business you want to be in; the less you have, then you tend to react to what turns up and dance to the beat of a different drum.  For some that reactionary place might be exactly what you are looking for - enjoying the journey, flying by the seat of your pants and all that romantic stuff, but for others it doesn’t help at all.  In fact it can prevent a very good businesses from becoming an amazing businesses.

The information above is the basic stuff that will help you, but, there is a lot of information that you could gather on top of this - finances, patient numbers, recall metrics, stock, etc.  However, there does become a saturation point - a point of overwhelm and data overload that could become detrimental to moving forward.  This is, of course, determined by each individual as only you know when too much is really too much.sports-injury-fix-blog-dave-james-goldilocks-effectWe’re aiming for the “Goldilocks” of business information - not too much, not too little, but just right.

But what do we do with this information?  How do we make it useful?  Well, all of this information can measured, stored and presented as a dashboard.

For those of you that drive, a dashboard is instantly recognisable.  You can probably see it in your mind now, a series of dials showing you information about the health and status of your car, sat the other side of the steering wheel.  You can glance at it while driving and it gives you the data you need, when you need it.

Some of the data you will use more than others.  That could be speed (to stop you getting points on your licence), it could be fuel (to make sure you get to your destination) or it could be a map or navigation.   Other dials may not be useful to you now, being more useful in the past or the future.

Different cars have different dashboard layouts.  Older classic cars come with the bare minimum of data, while a modern car has loads of information presented to you.

Is one better than the other?  That’s a personal choice, but both will get you to your destination albeit at different speeds with different risks and a different experience.

Now it’s April 2020 and the world is in a different place, maybe it’s time to get your dashboard up and running, or tweak the one you already have.

As a simple approach I would look at the following:

  • Be clear on your current position and make sure you are honest with where the business is today.
  • Make sure you have a definite vision and goal for your business to help you visualise and quantify the gap.
  • Break down this gap into manageable and logical blocks and understand the processes you need to have in place and the milestones along the way.
  • Put all this into a plan and a dashboard and decide what you want to measure to help the business succeed.  

sports-injury-fix-blog-dave-james-writing-a plan-on-whiteboard

Whatever you come up with and however you decide to record this information, make sure that you put it somewhere you can see it.  Review it regularly and make changes that will help you business sooner rather than later.  

It’s safe to say that after a bit of seasonal indulgence I’ll be getting back into measuring my nutrition and exercise because I know it will help me to maintain my weight loss and health goals.  Once you’ve experienced how helpful they can be, it’s difficult to deny how useful they are.

Maybe using a dashboard will help you to create the kind of business that serves you and could be just the thing you’re looking for to make the remainder of 2020 and beyond immensely successful.

To find out more about Dave and how to work with him: www.davethecoach.co.uk hello@davethecoach.co.uk

Or download his content creation via his e-book here.

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