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National and Global, United States

Monday, August 24, 2009

When the ABCs Stop Working...

IN SOME WAYS, the human body is a simple machine: Air needs to go in and out, and blood needs to go around and around. Anything that interrupts those two processes is bad and must be corrected quickly. I was told again and again to remember the ABCs: airway, breathing, circulation. That’s the essence of emergency medicine. The problem is, there are hundreds of reasons why the ABCs stop working.

And so too, with some companies I've come in contact with in my consulting engagements. The company too, is a relatively simple machine: Cash needs to go in, and then cash comes out...and in between, a product or a service 'goes round and round...and 'out the door'. In this environment, anything that delays or interrupts the process, needs immediate attention. The problem is, what attention? Is it an aspirin, CPR, or a death certificate? So, I offer the ABCs: Action, Benefit, Cashflow. The ABCs. The problem, just like medicine, is that there are here too, hundreds of reasons why the ABCs stop working. And my job is to find out, localize it, and get management to act upon it without cutting off their nose.

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