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Measures

There is an old saying: ‘What gets measured gets done’

… and it’s completely true.

  • When the NHS in the UK started measuring patient wait times, the wait times went down (Hooray!) … but patient health (and death rates) went up!
  • When Continental Airlines started measuring on-time performance (and offered a small incentive to all staff to improve it), they went from no 7 to no 1 in a matter of months
  • And look how scoreboards motivate players on the field of sport!

So, accepting that measures are SO important, isn’t it bizarre that if you ask 95% of employees how their Organisation (or even themselves) are doing, they will invariably answer ‘I don’t know’.

Imagine how a football team would play if they didn’t know the score?

They often say something like: ‘I know I’m doing Ok if no one is shouting at me’

Imagine how a football team would play if the crowd never cheered, but only hurled abuse when something went wrong!

And, when organisations Do have measures, they are usually unbalanced. What is usually measured above everything else? Money, of course.

We are back to the same problem encountered by the NHS: if you measure too narrowly, you’ll get your results, but usually at the expense of something else.

Please note and remember this: if you ONLY measure money, you will get money, usually at the expense of something else. What may be sacrificed at the altar of money … to get the measures right? Well, perhaps it’d be quicker to list what would not be sacrificed!

Does Ratners the Jewelers spring to mind, or perhaps ‘Payment Protection Insurance’?

It’s time the business world started to get real and have some balanced measures: sure, money is important (without it the system won’t work), but it needs to be balanced out with longer term measures, measures of:

  • Customer Experience
  • Customer Loyalty
  • Reputation
  • Referrals
  • Loyalty

So that, if ALL (and I mean ALL) the balanced measures are moving in the right direction, then it’s highly likely the Organisation is in good health for both the short AND the long term. let’s face it:

  • Any fool can generate money at the expense of Customer experience (and many fools do … on a daily basis)
  • Any fool can also deliver great reputation without any profit (which is also a pointless exercise)

The key lies in balance in your measures (as in all things), and a focus on the long term measures FIRST (customer experience) and short term measures SECOND (money).

Why?

Because the long term actions, produce the short term results.