The Two Second Advantage: How to Be More Future Focused in Your Business

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I have been reading a great book called “The Two Second Advantage” by Vivek Ranadive.  Amazon recaps the focus of the book as follows:
What made Wayne Gretzky the greatest hockey player of all time wasn’t his speed on the ice or the uncanny accuracy of his shots, but rather his ability to predict where the puck was going to be an instant before it arrived. In other words, it was Gretzky’s brain that made him exceptional. Over the past fifteen years, scientists have found that what distinguishes the greatest musicians, athletes, and performers from the rest of us isn’t just their motor skills or athletic abilities—it is the ability to anticipate events before they happen. A great musician knows how notes will sound before they’re played, a great CEO can predict how a business decision will turn out before it’s made, and a great chef knows what a recipe will taste like before it’s prepared.”
In the book, Ranadive provides several examples of using information to predict and sometimes prevent future events, including customer behavior, mechanical failures, and even crimes. This made me think about how a business could better utilize information to become more future focused and predictive – to have that small time advantage over competitors in making decisions that have a significant impact on revenues, profits and customer satisfaction.
Certainly traditional measures like Days Sales Outstanding, Days Sales of Inventory, and the Number of Days Between Sales, can be used as indicators that something might need attention before “bad” things start to happen in the business. However, for these types of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to be effective in helping to predict the future, they must have the following characteristics:

  • Be readily accessible to the people who need to use them to predict and shape the future
  • Be real-time enough to be relevant and actionable
  • Be based on accurate information derived from the backend financial system

Fortunately, predictive KPI’s like the ones described above are both available and affordable for small and medium sized businesses. One popular system being used by over 40,000 companies is Microsoft Dynamics GP. Microsoft Dynamics GP provides a full-featured financial system, as well as web-based reporting and business intelligence. The system addresses the required characteristics of predictive KPI’s by:

  • Easily extending KPI’s to anyone at anyplace using web portals and dashboards
  • Providing real-time information and KPI’s
  • Deriving the information directly from the core Microsoft Dynamics GP system without the need for rekeying

Find out how your business can, in the words of Wayne Gretzky, not just “skate to the puck”, but rather “skate to where the puck is going to be” by contacting your partner or The Resource Group (

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