As the saying goes, "What gets measured and monitored gets done." So, what are you measuring and monitoring? As the business owner, CEO, leader, or a manager in your organization, what are you monitoring on behalf of your team to ensure what you are supposed to be accomplishing is actually getting done? What metrics - or basic measurements - are you using to ensure the various projects and tasks you are so busily and diligently working on are actually on-budget, on-schedule, and still moving you toward the outcomes you truly need? Let me say it more simply: How do you know you are working on the right things?
I most often speak and write about the benefits of smart, concise strategic plans. However, without effective implementation even the best strategic plans are useless. So why - with a good strategic plan behind them - do so many managers and leaders fail at effective implementation? From my 25+ years of experience, the answer is a failure to clearly identify the specific, measureable outcomes needed. Without that clarity, it is hard to measure progress toward or away from desired outcomes. Any movement then appears satisfactory. However, to be truly effective in the implementation part of management and leadership, savvy managers and leaders know how to manage by the numbers. And, they realize that when they know how to and can manage by the numbers, what gets measured and monitored, gets done.
So here's my challenge to you: As a leader in your organization, what are the top five metrics you track on a daily basis to ensure you and your entire team are moving forward, towards your desired outcomes? For my business, we track the number of speaking engagements, consulting project volume, the number of training dates, total product sales, and social media tribe growth. Those metrics move my company forward. What moves your company forward? You could be tracking customer retention, new business, sales volume, order size, membership conversions, reject rates, raw materials, dates booked, orders received, orders shipped, employee turnover, etc. What are the top five you track? What are the top five your team tracks? Are they aligned? Do your team members know the numbers you track and why? Do they know why those metrics are critical for you, your team, or your organization in moving forward? If they don't know, why not? If the numbers won't help you move forward to your desired outcomes, why are you tracking those numbers?
As managers and leaders, if you can't manage by some numbers, you're probably not managing as well as you should or as well as your team needs you to. Pick your top five. Work with them for awhile. Tweak and change them if they're not the right set of metrics to focus on to move you forward. However, until you know what you are measuring and monitoring, you won't really know what you are trying to get done.