When you Need InformationEvery one of the dozens of CEO's that we have spoken to absolutely knows their business like the back of their hand. You would hardly expect otherwise.
But when you look at the details, each of these businesses is subtly and uniquely different.
Of course, all CEO's are intimate with the market they serve. They know their products. They know who their customers are, either individually, or by demographic. They usually know their suppliers, and understand their suppliers business. And they are aware of who their competitors are, and the strengths and weaknesses that each has.
Similarly, all businesses share a few common "success" factors: such as having clearly defined processes (with quality management standards); defined responsibilities (with key performance indicators); established business metrics (with annualised targets); and standard reporting systems (such as Balanced Scorecard).
Efficiency of service and delivery comes from having knowledgeable staff, robust systems, and consistent information about all aspects of your business and the markets you serve.
It all works very well - until something in your business environment changes, or you are forced by circumstance to do things differently.
At that point, you are faced with risks that you may know little about, and you may lack the information that you need to make meaningful decisions.
Typically, these events involve business change, including:
They can also apply to risks and opportunities that exist totally outside your business environment.