Measures are for the team, not managers

In the last post, we walked through the importance of a guidepost statement that the team looks to for guidance, in the absence of clarity.

The next step in our journey to creating a modern set of measures is to make sure you have a set of “guiding principles.”

Guiding principles are the foundations you set as you build the measurement framework for your team. These guiding principles help you select the measures by which your team judges the success of their collaboration, processes, and initiatives.

Notice I said how “your team judges its success,” not how you judge them. That leads me to the first guiding principle I find especially effective in motivating teams to do great work: Measures are for teams, not managers.

What do I mean by that?

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Guidepost statements – critical for creating modern measures that matter

The best-run organizations not only have a strategy everyone understands, but they connect employee behaviors to achieving that strategy. This becomes very powerful when each and every employee is engaged by a compelling purpose and knows what to do in order to achieve that purpose.

While vision and mission statements are great for calm, contemplative moments, these are few and far between for most people in the thick of a busy workday, particularly in the interrupt-driven world of Support and Shared Services. Today, with volumes of information available to both customers and employees, deciding what to do in the absence of clear direction can become paralyzing. If your team is in the middle of raging seas in a life raft in pitch darkness, with winds howling all around and no way of knowing which way to go, how do they decide what to do next? The guidepost statement will guide their actions.

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Seek to Understand before seeking to Solve

Over the last few months, we’ve been working with a number of organizations that are fundamentally re-thinking what they should measure, and why. I’m amazed that, time and time again, organizations try to measure success with metrics that don’t align with what they’re trying to accomplish.

This often happens because the underlying issues you want to solve depends on what you see. Some people call this perspective; I like to think of it as your lens.

Phil Verghis

When our team works with clients on data-driven continual process improvement, we examine their teams and processes through a variety of lenses to gain a multi-dimensional view of how well they work together and how they function within the enterprise. That’s how we uncover unexpected truths.

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