The Productivity Principle of
“Any enterprise...profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” Proverbs 24:3-4
By John E. Schrock, Businessman
Underline the key concepts found in this principle.
I have the facts. . . what a powerful statement. Facts should not be ignored, because facts mean the state of things as they really are, or reality. We all need to rely on honest reports. We cannot plan effectively or function properly without knowing at least some facts. No one, except our heavenly Father, knows all the facts. No one ever started a family, business, or organization by knowing all the facts. It is, however, very important that we get as many facts as possible before we do too much planning. Too many assumptions in our plans will cause us to fail. After we have accumulated sufficient facts, we have a right to assume a few things. We should, however, understand that more facts will come our way, and be ready to make the necessary adjustments to our plans.
Sometimes we confuse the word truth with facts. Although facts are based on certain truths, we may have the facts but may not necessarily have all the truth. So when someone presents us facts, we need to be careful, because these facts may not give us the whole truth or the whole picture. Sometimes sales people will get us focused on certain facts about their product to make the sale, and later we become unhappy about the overall value of the product. Certain facts may be used to deceive us. So truth is the accumulation of all the facts, rather than certain facts. However, facts should never be ignored, for they do lead us to truth.
The Proverb above says that staying abreast of the facts is the way to build our business. Facts will help us make "wonderful profits." Therefore, weekly fact sheets are very important in our business. These facts should be recaps of things that happened, such as sales for the week, labor cost, and production efficiency. Every business or household should know every week whether they are doing well or poorly, and what progress they are making. Bad news can turn out to be good news because it gives us a chance to make a change for the better. These facts, good or bad, should be visible to us every day, to confront us, force change, and let us know our situation so we can make adjustments. If we don’t have the facts, we may be failing and not know it until it’s too late to recover.
Right now the world and its economies are changing. To ignore these facts and refuse to adjust brings disaster. The Soviet Union ignored the facts, and their nation crumbled. Other nations are also ignoring the facts. Heavy national debts, mismanaged economics, and moral deterioration are facts which cannot be ignored without penalty. Some of these nations should have faced these facts thirty years ago. Failure does not just happen overnight; it comes from ignoring the facts over time. There are three things that will always cause disaster for us:
1. Ignorance (unaware).
2. Not paying attention to the facts.
3. A stubborn heart that refuses to change.
Make sure you face the facts. They are there to help you, not to hurt you. Don’t be like the man who said, "I have already made up my mind, so don’t confuse me with the facts."
This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.
Thoughts to Ponder:
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.