I made the run to New York for the last time this year and did my last 2014 GE MDC (Management Development Course) class. I had about 32 in class which is the biggest of the year, we had a great day in GE Crotonville at the Pit. I gave up the first two hours of my day to Jeff Immelt – I guess the CEO gets priority even over finance. This class was even more inquisitive and lively than normal. I really enjoy doing these MDC groups. Great smart people. One major theme in this group was finding ways to drive and teach finance to those that they manage. This is a topic that comes up often as I teach.
We need to make finance simple to understand for the people we work with. That is what I attempt to do in my classes. I also tell these executives that there are only 2-3 key numbers you should be sharing with your team, not 10-20. We often bury our people with too much detail. At Setpoint, my manufacturing company, we have two key numbers we review every week, gross profit per hour and percent of our direct labor on our projects. Everyone in the company knows where those numbers need to be for us to be successful. We look at them weekly and pay bonuses on the profits when these numbers are high enough. This class was very interested in looking for ways to apply this concept to their teams. Sharing key financial metrics is a great way to drive successful performance in your organization.
I am sitting in a middle seat in coach for my beloved Delta airlines. I was number one on the list for an upgrade with every seat taken on both sides of this trip to New York, just my luck on my last trip to the east coast this year. I earned enough miles and dollars to make diamond medallion three times over but no luck upgrading on this trip. 🙂 I did have two nice elderly ladies on either side of me and one of them, a nurse, cleaned my seat area for me. You never know what bacteria lurk on these flights. So it’s all good and I’m glad to close out my east coast swings until next year, one more training to go in LA.