- The following are not the same:
- What you want to measure
- What you need to measure
- What you have been told that you have to measure
- What people expected to measure in similar circumstances
- What you think you should measure
- You can measure anything. You just need to define the word measure. The managerial default is a score, or a number on a spreadsheet, which leaves out very legitimate qualitative measurements and preferential ones. For example, in ‘I always prefer the beach over the mountains, and always prefer diving over the beach’, Utility Theory says that you always prefer diving over the beach. This rationality has been challenged, but it is an example of how I have not used any number and have however expressed my measurement in preferential terms
- Just because it can be measured doesn’t mean it’s relevant
- Just because there is a tool ready, doesn’t mean it measures what you need to measure (Employee Engagement industry, please re-think)
- The measurement is not the reality but, a measurement of the reality (don’t ‘manage the score’)
- Tracking progress must be multi-measurable, hard and soft
- ‘Activity’ is an easy data point, mostly useless (e.g number of workshops)
- The only thing worth measuring is what you care about. Start with that question.
- Measuring is close to a dogma, dogmas require serious critical thinking
- ‘What can’t be measured can’t be managed’ contains high levels of uncritical thinking. Some things may not be measurable, or it may be difficult to do so. The statement that we repeat like parrots in managerial land, may lead to diverting the attention to things that are easy (easier) to measure, regardless of their relevance.
Dr Leandro Herrero is the CEO and Chief Organization Architect of The Chalfont Project , an international firm of organizational architects. He is the pioneer of Viral ChangeTM, a people Mobilizing Platform, a methodology that delivers large scale behavioural and cultural change in organizations, which creates lasting capacity for changeability.
Dr Herrero is also an Executive Fellow at the Centre for the Future of Organization, Drucker School of Management. An international speaker, Dr Herrero is available for virtual speaking engagements  and can be reached at: The Chalfont Project .