There are three ways to make profit: gross margin, expense control and productivity. I’ll bet your CFO has the first two all sewed up. And the third one? I’ll bet again that he or she can’t give you a straight answer on how to raise it. That is because they are better at things like numbers, inventory, assets, than intangible things like people’s motivation. I call productivity The Third Dimension of Profit, but it is business driver #1.
It is kind of like a beehive, making money is. Gross margin is the honey left over after manufacturing for the hive’s immediate needs – for the queen, drones, workers, scouts and larvae. The surplus is used to expand the hive or live on for a while, or is harvested by bears, raccoons and humans. Bees are altruistic.
They keep making honey no matter how many times they get raided. They like their job. They are fully engaged. Without bees to pollinate plants, earth’s creatures would have less fruit, nuts and vegetables. It’spretty smart of flowers too to put their nectar where hairy bee legs have to stand to get it. And on they fly to collect more nectar and feed creatures much bigger than they are. Altruism and genius are common in God’s creation.
Expense control in a bee hive? Control is optimal already. Waste is non-existent. What about the third dimension productivity. Do you see any bees goofing off? See any bees chasing nectar in a market where there is none? See any bees complaining about working conditions or lack of job satisfaction? That is because it is normal for bees to have all that they need to perform well.
That is how we see staff training, support and guidance. It is the right of the workers, working for the hive, to receive everything they need – what’s normal to perform well and max out rewards. We need the brain of a bee. If a selfish queen ran the beehive, honey would be rationed and deprived bees would form new hives or starve. To create baby bees to make morehoney (profit) it takes well fed, well trained workerbees. Then the hive will have gross margin, expenses and productivity under control, like the Knights of Columbus do. We have a lot of surplus honey almost $800M to charity in the last five years. How smart is your bee hive? Can we help you improve it?
Jude Hodges, Grand Knight
Joe Cox , Membership Director, Council 12240
St. Bonaventure Catholic Church