Cynthia Markets for Today

The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame

On October 25, 1925 Grantland Rice wrote,

Outlined against a blue-gray October sky The Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below.

This article created The Four Horseman of Notre Dame.

Grantland Rice perhaps one of the greatest sports writers used prose to paint pictures, create inspiration, develop heroes of classic demigods. He is also credited with creating the “Seven Blocks of Granite.” Today we have ESPN and scores flashing everywhere. The scoreboard is essential to understanding. The scoreboard provides a snapshot of the business, game at any given time. I’m continually surprised how families run without budgets, how small business owners go year after year without tracking, and knowing the keys to their business.

Competing without a scoreboard is like bowling without pins, going to school and never getting a grade.

The scoreboard, or metrics in business, is essential is decision making. What areas are doing well, which need help? Sound decisions are based on facts. Remember in Remember the Titans, when Coach Boone has the math teacher break down the other team’s plans? Decisions based on metrics are sound facts, the permit adjustments.

The adjustments are what’s important!

The scoreboard, the analyses are building blocks that permit the team to make the adjustments to win. Consider this coaches dilemma.

You are conducting try outs, two players have exactly the same time when they race from home to first base. One has great form, the second terrible form, which one do you take and why? The analogy says the runner with bad form, teach him the proper techniques and his time will be better.

The metrics we have in place need to be used and reviewed to make us better. Utilization is a building block in the process of improvement. A significant event, trip wire many forget, fail to understand in LEAN is “Huijunka”. In many texts, it’s called schedule leveling. The real key to any sustained improvement is the constant elimination of variables. This month as reviewed all the FF Metrics, a key we discussed, was to level the variables. Often we want to attack the lowest score; this is a good place to begin. However, we must look at the big picture, we need to also look at the best and understand why. Many movies and business schools quote or require the reading of The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Remember in Wall Street, when Charlie Sheen quotes it to Michael Douglass?

When working on our metrics we need to look at the big picture and examine the breadth of the subject, not just the low numbers.

All the runners in a race compete, only one wins-Run to Win

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