Managers spend much of their time measuring – market share, year on year sales, voids, arrears, return on investment, customer satisfaction, orders fulfilled, calls handled per hour, orders placed, orders fulfilled (again), total invoiced, hours billed, attendance, productivity per employee etc
Why the obsession with measuring stuff?
Because it gives us the data to recognise what has changed, what needs to change, and when we make the change – whether it has had the impact we planned.
But none of these metrics are about US – the manager. They are all about the performance of the system and the people that we manage. And this often lets us of the hook for making real change in the way we manage.
What if we measured some more personal aspects of our management efforts?
- how much time we spend listening in 121 conversation with team members
- how many times we give REAL feedback – affirmative and adjusting – each day/week
- how often we make sarcastic or cynical comments
- how many times we interrupt others mid-sentence
- how often we check our blackberry in meetings
- how often we talk about values and vision
- the amount of time we spend in meetings that are inefficient or worse
- how many coaching contracts we put in place with our team members
- what percentage of coaching contracts achieved their goals
- how many significant tasks we genuinely delegated (rather than then allocated) because they provide great development opportunities
- percentage of working time allocated to pursuing key objectives
- how often we acknowledge our own development opportunities and make planned conscious change in our behaviours
I am convinced that if we started to measure our own personal performance in relation to some of these more personal aspects of management, most of us would we would pretty quickly get some powerful data on what we needed to change. Measurement would also pretty quickly confront us with the fact that our perceptions of our performance are markedly different from reality.
As we make planned changes based on measurements of our own personal behaviours we will soon see a very positive impact in some of the more traditional areas where measurement prevails. The act of measurement itself would also increase the likelihood of planned changes being implemented and seen through. That after all is perhaps the main reason why we measure.
To make sure that important things get done.