Is Your Business Healthy?

The importance of monitoring leading indicators. 


Good health enables growth and maturity in businesses and humans. Combined with hard work and perseverance it facilitates our ability to achieve desired outcomes! 


  • How do you know if your business is healthy?  
  • Have you had your annual check-up?  
  • On what criteria are you basing your evaluation?  


How do you know if your business is healthy?  


Like humans, businesses are living organisms. Their health can be evaluated via internal and external indicators. There are two types of health/performance indicators:  


Leading Indicators are proactive, predictive measurements taken while a process is in motion. They are like your lab results from blood work. For example, cholesterol levels may predict future heart or cardiovascular issues. 


On the contrary, Lagging Indicators are reactive in nature. Once a process nears completion or ends, the data will arise, like your body showing symptoms like coughing, aches, and pains after becoming sick. The most vital lagging indicators for a business are called Key Performance Indicators (KPI). 


It is important to use a combination of these indicators to ensure proper health. A business can have high revenues and be “killing it” in sales, but if the internal support and delivery systems cannot support the influx of demand, then the business is not healthy or sustainable. From the outside viewpoint the business may look attractive, but if not balanced, its quality, customer satisfaction, and culture will decline. 


Have you had your annual check-up?  


When you go to the doctor for a check-up, they conduct a series of tests and evaluations, give you lab results, discuss their observations, and give recommendations to improve your health or make sure you will continue to be healthy. In some instances, these are part of proactive annual check-ups, while in other cases they are a result of a reaction to an accident or something that just doesn’t feel that right. Your Chief Operations Officer (COO) or equivalent is the “doctor” in your business. They are responsible for making sure that the business is operating effectively, efficiently, and able to meet desired outcomes/goals. They do this by evaluating internal and external indicators of health and subsequent growth and maturity levels. They should be taking regularly scheduled measurements, reporting observations, and providing recommendations for improvement or requirements to meet business needs. 


What criteria are you basing your evaluation on?  


Incorporating a proactive focus on leading indicators that align to your KPIs will develop a solid foundation for your business and will accurately predict your ability to reach the aligned goals. It is also important to focus on multiple areas of your business and not just the financial viewpoint. If you focus on the inputs and consistency of the systems, the outputs will take care of themselves. 


Below are some key areas of operation to proactively evaluate the health of your business along with some sample leading indicators: 

  • Finance – Costs and expenditures against budget. 
  • Risk / Legal – Potential fail points. 
  • Culture / Staff –Feedback ratings via periodic evaluations. 
  • Client Satisfaction – Measurements against success criteria via feedback throughout the engagement. 
  • Operations Effectiveness – Processes are meeting expected goals or are informal workarounds and “variations” being created. 
  • Operations Efficiencies – Throughput and capacity rates, bottlenecks, and/or waste reduction opportunities. 


Origamic Solutions is ready to provide advisory services, help you conduct your health assessment, or identify improvement opportunities. For more information contact us at or call 804-651-5564.