Sacred Cows Make the Best Hamburger

Linda LaitalaAround The Table, Business, Employees, Leadership, Management, Marketing, Quotes, Sales, WorkLeave a Comment

On the Best Valley Dairy Farm, we milked Holsteins. We often had our “favorite” cows, but when the industry developed the capacity to measure the quantity and quality of each cow’s milk, we were shocked to realize our favorites were not necessarily the producers who kept our farm in business. Sadly, one of the few options was hamburger.

According to the dictionary, a sacred cow is an idea, custom or institution held to be above criticism.
Refusing to scrutinize sacred cows may endanger your entire operation:

Businesses grinding to a halt
Kodak’s inability to recognize the industry disrupter in the digital camera cost the company its’ entire existence. Where are the video rental stores that peppered every neighborhood? Entire industries have come and gone with changes in technology and consumer behavior.

Your target market wants something new
You’ve been servicing a set of customers or a region that once was the backbone of your business. However, if you are paying attention to the feedback from sales, you may discover those customers are actually costing you money.

Your employees don’t seem to produce like they used to
Your sense of loyalty to a long-time employee is understandable. But is the person unwilling or unable to grow with the business? Have their skills become obsolete?
Or, what about the employee who has manipulated their way into being beyond scrutiny. Are the criticisms and suggestions useful or a distraction to make them seem invaluable?

Ideals can be sacred cows too
Sometimes we develop tunnel vision, losing flexibility, mired down by “we’ve always done it that way”. In reality, we must constantly reevaluate and change as our industry changes. Refusing to accept what the facts and figures are telling you because of your ideals or your vision may be putting your business at risk.

Forcing yourself to offer a new product, dumping a costly customer segment or letting go of people who no longer contribute to the future direction of your business isn’t easy. But it may be the antidote that your company needs to survive and thrive into the future.
Have you identified your sacred cows?
*Quote by Mark Twain

The road is easier together,

Linda Laitala, President
Raven Performance Group

Leave a Reply