Whether you credit Michael LeBoeuf for first noting, “What gets measured gets done,” or if you attribute the insight to a preaching or teaching of Peter Drucker or Tom Peters, it’s difficult to argue with the sentiment.
It doesn’t much matter to anyone – other than the three, one might guess – wh.....
It doesn’t much matter to anyone – other than the three, one might guess – who said it first.
I’m grateful that someone said it, and if you run a small or midsized business, you should be glad, too.
It’s simply a great piece of business thinking set out in isolation: What we care about, what we focus upon, what we manage, well, that’s the stuff that typically gets accomplished.
If what our leadership teams seek to accomplish is clearly identified, managed with care and passion by the actuators in our company, and then the importance of those carefully planned and executable goals somehow connect to the individuals in our ranks, terrific results should follow.
LeBoeuf, in a later book, noted that what gets measured and then is rewarded gets done well. It’s difficult to argue with that.
OK, seems simple enough. Set goals. Have your associates align their work with those goals. Rake in the bucks. And then share the wealth.
If only it were that easy.
A lot of companies struggle with their overarching goals. Many either aren’t sure what they want to be, or are too focused on the moment. It’s difficult not to focus on the now – especially when things are going exceptionally well, or when it seems as if everything is doomed to fail.
Even when a company is somewhere between those two extremes, taking the time away from the daily grind to truly envision what should come next and creating the steps to get there can prove difficult.
But as soon as the overarching and measurable goals are created, the pathway becomes clear. Top to bottom, and bottom to top, the goals should connect. Regardless of your business’ pursuits, concrete goals can be created and then objectively measured.
Profit always is a good place to start.
Expense is another obvious area to examine.
And the best companies have financial targets that are part of the discussion.
But what if you are somewhere in that business, and perhaps don’t have a direct or even an indirect effect on sales, and the management of actual expenditures is a layer or two away from you – then exactly what do you do?
This kind of space is where a manager and his or her associates can become disconnected from the company’s overall goals. And it’s precisely in this area of the operation where the connection between measurable goals and the company’s plan intersect.
Doing stuff is not enough. Doing stuff that can be measured and connects to a larger initiative is where the work exists that makes companies good and good companies great. Activity is not achievement.
For mid-level managers, understanding how they connect is important. Understanding their key-performance indicators (KPIs) is no less essential. If you manage a group of people and aren’t sure what your KPIs are, or believe that you don’t have any, let’s get one thing squared away: Every company measures its teams and those associates somehow.
Ask yourself a few questions: How are you evaluated? What’s important to the business unit within your company? What does success for you and for your department look like – on a spreadsheet?
Your managerial goals are in there, somewhere.
You may have a goal to become a better manager. Great. But what does that mean?
There are KPIs all around our workplaces – even in the softest of businesses. Your team has specific work to accomplish to ensure the bigger goals are reached.
As for your team, ask a few more questions: What is it that you need your team to achieve? What does your department specifically and measurably need to achieve over a defined timeline? What does that success look like – again, on a spreadsheet – for your individual team members, and how can you tailor their targets to expand their current level of talent?
Your team’s goals are in there, somewhere.
Align your goals and your team’s goals with the company’s goals and then see what happens.
Bada bing, bada boom.
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As always, stay classy.
Chris Krug is president of the progressive media communications firm No Limit Agency in Chicago. No Limit is a full-service agency whose practice focuses on strategy, brand management, creative campaigns and delivering unparalleled placement in the media. No Limit Agency works with some of the best-known brands in North America, and that’s not a coincidence. Contact Krug by calling 312-526-3996 or via email at [email protected].