Throw Your Metrics Out The Window

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In the ‘what is the one question you want to have answered’ sequence of posts I’m writing, I received this question from an association executive. What are the best metrics for me to have to measure our success?

Great question. Here was my answer.

Throw all of your metrics out the window.

What? Are you insane? All of my metrics?

Yes, all of them. Unless they can accurately and reliably deliver on three promises.

Promise #1. Your metrics measure results not tasks. 
Far too often sales organizations measure the tasks of their sales people and not the results of their sales people. For example, did the sales person make a predetermined number of phone calls or send a prescribed number of approach letters. In many organizations there are sales people who never look successful based on their daily tasks but who repeatedly sell larger amounts than their coworkers. This begs the question, do you want a sales person who is successful managing their metrics or selling a lot of your products and services? I’ll take the latter.

Promise #2. Your metrics measure what drives your success.
There is one fatal flaw with the vast majority of assessments I see clients use. Leaders and managers have to do backflips and play complicated games of Twister in order to interpret the data generated from an assessment. What’s absent is a direct alignment with organizational strategy, values, culture, talent, mindset and leadership.  This produces delayed decision making and reduced enthusiasm for accelerated results.

Promise #3. Your metrics measure an obsessive focus on the customer.
You no doubt organized your department or business in one of several strategic ways. Maybe it’s the markets you serve (USAA), the products you offer (BMW), your technology (Tesla), your financial returns (JP Morgan) or one of five others. But, in the most successful organizations I work with the one structure that generates the greatest returns is that of customer obsession. Notice I didn’t say customer success, I said customer obsession. In every nook and cranny of your business there is an unrelenting obsessive focus on the customer and making their lives better, easier, more productive…in ways they didn’t even know they wanted or needed.

Monday Morning Mindset Challenge:
I challenge you to jettison any assessment or metric that is not aligned with these three promises. Which metric are you currently using that is being violated by one of these three promises?

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