In Mahabharata Yaksha asked a few questions to Yudhistir to test his knowledge as a virtuous and intelligent ruler.

The CEO of any organization is in many ways akin to the king or the ruler of the business enterprise (kingdom)

I am playing the role of Yaksha (not by choice and against my wishes J ) and below mentioned Q&A is the imaginary discussion that I am having with a fair, intelligent, astute and ethical king (business head)

  1. When it comes to running a business the what is the most important figure to bear in mind?
  2. It is the bottom line.

Y .What is the best indication of how a business is faring?

  1. Companies can only be as good as their profit margin; the difference between revenue and profit is the best indication of how a business is faring and whether it is being run efficiently.
  2. What is the biggest temptation for a business leader?
  3. There is a temptation for business leaders to become fixated by turnover but the reality is that if you get your margins wrong then you are heading for serious trouble.
  4. How do you improve profit margins?
  5. The obvious ways of improving profit margins such as keeping costs to a minimum and making sure that you drive the right bargain in the first place and improving the productivity of your teams.

Y .What factors determine the Productivity of the teams

  1. Productivity is determined by many different factors which can include having the right selection processes and procedures in place, choosing the right managers to run key teams and making sure staff are well treated and fully motivated.
  2. What measures do you take if the staff is NOT performing at the required levels?
  3. But if you are concerned that staff is not performing at the required level there are some simple steps that can be taken to deal with the issue.


The first step to take is to take a close look at training procedures to ensure that staff are being given the right guidance and help when it comes to doing their job. You cannot expect people to excel at their jobs if you do not give them the right tools in the first place. Investing in a decent training programme may cost in the short-term but can pay rich dividends in the long-term.

Monitor Performance:

The only way to check that your staff is as productive as possible is to monitor them on a regular basis. Monitoring can take the form of keeping on them at the workplace and just as importantly examining their personal performance in terms of sales and figures. It always strikes me as odd when companies fail to monitor the performance of their staff properly. So much of the firm’s performance relies on its staff, so why fail to keep an eye on them? You would not run a car without checking on its brakes and tyres at regular intervals.


It is vital and important of being able to measure the impact that every employee has on their business. People should be able to prove their worth and value to the company on every level and in every department from senior manager to receptionist. For instance every year it is expected from the finance director to show where we can savings or improve profit levels.

And if you can measure exactly how much each individual is worth to the firm then their pay should also be directly related to financial performance. If you are keen to improve performance then an incentive scheme makes perfect sense.


Many business owners and managers forget the power of saying well done. Encouragement will have a direct impact on the productivity of your team. Saying well done to a team member will go a long way and give you the satisfaction that you have encouraged someone else to do well at what they do.

If your answers resemble the ones given by the wise and astute leader, congrats you are well on your way to run a growth driven, profit making enterprise.

If your answers did not tally with the correct ones mentioned above, don’t fret we are there to help.

To know more about how The Idea Smith lean principles and PDCA methodology can help your company improve profitability by reducing lead times, costs and wastes while increasing throughput and customer satisfaction , get in touch .      

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