Leadership and Organisational Success: Measuring What Matters

It might not be the most exciting thing that you do as a leader but achieving success relies on you having an effective system of measuring progress.  Think about it, if you are measuring something it is on your radar and if it is on your radar you are more likely to be alert to opportunities to move forward to the next level.

So how can you start to make measurement a valuable business tool rather than just a chore where you tick boxes?

Get clear on your goals
If you are going to be effective at measuring something you need to be crystal clear about what you are trying to achieve in the first place.  When designing any form of measurement system whether at organisation, function, team, project, process or even individual level, make sure you are crystal clear on the goals, results and outcomes you want.

Distinguish between the essentials and nice to have

In any organisation there are certain things that are so essential to your success that you really need to pay attention to them.  You probably have heard of the 80:20 rule.  In essence 20% of what you do delivers 80% of the results.  In any organisation it is vital that you determine what the 20% is and then focus your measurement around this area.   So what’s the 20% in your organisation?

Make everyone responsible

You may have people centrally who crunch the numbers or provide the reports but ultimately achieving goals needs to the responsibility of everyone.  The best systems of measuring performance were those that cascaded objectives and goals right down to individual employee level.

Don’t just rely on financial measures

Financial measures have their place and need to be part of what they measure but don’t rely on them in isolation.  The reason is that most financial measures are after the event.  They tell you retrospectively what has happened.  Take something like turnover (sales) as example.  Sure it tells you how much income you have generated from sales but the real nuggets are in understanding the drivers and blockers of sales.

Bottom Line – Measuring if it is to make a difference to personal and organisational success needs to focus on measuring what matters.  So what action can you take to use measurement to create more success?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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