I can hear the groans from here… ugh! How many times we heard that used-up phrase? The answer…Clearly, not enough!
Measurement. Measurement. Measurement. We hear it and we read about it everywhere we turn. And yet, so few organizations, and so few leaders, insist on measurement as the leading step in any new initiative. Why is that?
1) We lack the “how”
2) We lack the “why”
3) We lack the buy-in
4) We’re just plain lazy
Too many business owners, executive leaders, and every day professionals lack the experience and or expertise in building substantive and impactful measurement instruments. But, you know, that’s a really lame excuse for inaction. Think about it? If you had heart disease, you wouldn’t avoid surgery, simply because you didn’t know how to operate on yourself… you turn to an expert, a heart surgeon, to step in and do the surgery.
Quite honestly? If any of you are still wondering why to measure, you should stop reading right here…It should be self-evident at this point.
Advocacy of any initiative is critical. Executive leadership needs to understand, champion, and challenge assumptions and all steps of the process. And individual contributors and mid-level managers need to be able to sell the idea of measurement up to executive leaders. Miss this critical step, and you’re dead in the water.
While laziness may seem like a poor excuse for inaction, in actuality, it’s probably the most common and the most understandable. In the modern day and age, we’re all running Mach 3 with our hair on fire. It’s much easier to skip the difficult steps, justifying our actions, or more pointedly, our inaction. It’s tough to simply slow down enough to put into place solid measurement pieces. But in falling for this common trap, we have allowed the pace of business and the pace of life, to undermine every effort we make… If we fail to put into place solid measurement pieces the initial design of any change or initiative.
So how do we proceed? How do we insist that measurement drives all change initiatives in our organizations?
It’s simple really… Just begin talking about it. And I don’t mean simply mentioning it in passing in your discussions in the office… I mean, really talk about it start every meeting with the discussion of metrics.
Project planning meeting….talk metrics.
Stakeholder meetings…..talk metrics.
Project launch meetings….talk metrics.
Update meetings….talk metrics.
Getting the hint? Unless we place metrics front and center of every interaction we have with all key players and stakeholders, it will never get the attention it needs. And if it doesn’t get the attention, trust me, the results will be less than underwhelming.