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What Gets Measured Gets Done

Posted by Cheri Kuhn on
What Gets Measured Gets Done

From our founder, Cheri Kuhn: 

When I work with leadership teams, I push them to reverse engineer their desired results down to activities that can be measured on a weekly basis. We are looking for leading indicators to help identify if we are on track to successfully achieve monthly, quarterly or annual goals. If all of your metrics (the things on your scorecard that you are measuring) are trailing indicators, like numbers from your P&L, there may not be any recourse or action you can take to get back on track and achieve your goals. What's done is done.

For example, if you are tracking the number of outgoing sales calls (with an understanding of how many of those it will take to get a face-to-face meeting and ultimately a new client), you will be alerted early if you are off track and can work together to get that number back on track. Keep in mind that not every outcome is easy to reverse to the activity that drives the end goal, but there is almost always some activity or number we can track to help determine future success. A team can (and should) track sales number, but also find leading indicators that drive those sales.

What gets measured gets done. As an example, Charles Schwab paid a visit to his lowest performing steel mill. At the end of the first shift, he asked how many heats they had done (the answer was 6). He wrote a giant 6 on the floor in chalk. When the next shift arrived, they asked what that was. Charles explained it was the number of heats completed by the first shift. The next morning the 6 was erased and replaced with a 7. Over the coming weeks, this mill went from his lowest to his highest performing mill.

I challenge you to incorporate this concept into your personal life and goal-setting. To help with this, the 2021 Perfect Planner includes a personal scorecard or dashboard. The idea is the same for personal goal setting as it is for setting company goals - what are the activities you do each week that will ensure you accomplish your quarterly and annual goals?

The idea is to focus on activities you can control. For example, let’s say you have a goal to save for retirement, a vacation, or a new house. If you eat out often for lunch, an activity you could track is the number of sack lunches each week (with a goal of >/= to 3). Fitness goals can include tracking activities like miles walked/ran, trips to the gym, etc. When you focus on leading indicators (activities) you can course correct when you are off-track.

For your personal scorecard, all you need is the Activity (what you are measuring each week), tied to the specific Goal (what needs to happen to achieve your quarterly and/or annual goals?). This is your personal scorecard. Ask yourself, are you doing what needs to be done consistently? I highly recommend tracking the things that are hard for you to do but need to be done to accomplish your goals.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to choose the 3 to 5 activities you can do each week that will help you achieve your goals and that will drive the results you want. There is a direct correlation between what gets measured and what gets done.

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