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Don't Fly Blind -- Build A Dashboard

One of my favorite business books of all time, Fire Someone Today, by Bob Pritchett, has 28 chapters, each of which is a business axiom that's worth the price of the book several times over. In fact, only two of those 28 chapters are about firing people.

Chapter 15 is titled "Don't Fly Blind -- Build A Dashboard." It describes an online, real-time dashboard for your business as a concise, visually-presented report that you and your management team can see and react to every day. This is different from most tabular reports, such as an income statement or a balance sheet that we see on a monthly basis. Those are more like a rear-view mirror than a dashboard.

Typically, a dashboard would be integrated with your own business systems to retrieve and display operating data in near-real time.  At the CEBI Fall Summit, a Chief Executive Boards International member, Al Conway, President of ACG, Incorporated, gave an Executive Briefing on business dashboards, including some live demos of real dashboards. As a courtesy to CEBI members, Al also built a "fill-in-the-blanks" dashboard that's focused on today's hot topic -- Cash is King.  

This is a Cash Recovery Dashboard. The phrase "Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills" started more than one gold rush in the 1800's. Today's translation might be more like: "Thar's Cash in That Thar Balance Sheet". Al's dashboard will help you not only discover, but also visually demonstrate to your management team how to find the cash in your balance sheet and recover it. That hidden cash that you can't use, invest or distribute to shareholders (like yourself) is lurking under several other line items.

You may wish to print this article to capture the following launch instructions for this tool:

  1. Click Here to open Al Conway's Amazing Cash Flow Dashboard in your browser
  2. If you wish to run this tool offline, you can download and save it to your own computer by right-clicking on the link above, then choosing "Save Target As" and selecting a directory to which you want it downloaded. To run the application locally, you must open this file in Internet Explorer or the browser of your choice (it may try to open in another application). In Windows, right-click the file name in your folder, choose "Open With" and choose Internet Explorer
  3. When the dashboard opens (either online or locally), click on the "Help" link
  4. Print the Help Page -- this is the complete User's Manual
  5. Fill in the blanks with your own company's data, and look for some recoverable cash

We encourage you to give this a try. If you have trouble, please contact for technical assistance.


Terry Weaver
Chief Executive Boards International
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