We have all heard and likely used the mantra, “We get what we inspect and measure, not just what we expect.” Being clear on the score as often as possible is the key to improving performance and Exceeding Expectations.
Keeping score is not an expenditure of time as much as it actually compresses time and expands a team’s capacity by helping everyone maintain a clear focus on what matters. Using goals properly through regular inspection prevents you from burning time through neglect by ensuring you work only on those things which do drive the entire organization toward ultimate success.
One of the principal reasons a team achieves anything of note, beyond having top talent like you onboard, is that they keep score….and not just on the fields of play in the market, whatever they may be. Each day, they maintain a compelling scoreboard that predicts the future and provides measures for adjusting performance and changing tactics that they may be a little better, a little faster, and a lot smarter than the day before.
It is all about using lead measures you can affect today that drive the lag measures well in advance of having achieved them.
Every day and almost everything is a competition
In sports, we keep score on the board and in player statistics, especially in setting records. We all have a credit score; those of us with kids know our student’s GPA; we play video and board games and might even know our ranking on Waze.
Some might brag about our IQ or our score on the Wunderlic test, but, more importantly, we need to know our EQ; we might know our LDL and HDL, our bone density and BMI, our blood pressure, carbon footprint, and net worth; we measure customer retention and profitability, clout (likes, views, followers) on social media, Q scores for brands, and Z scores for standardization.
As consumers, we give star ratings on the books we read, the movies we see, the websites we visit, the apps we use, the hotels we sleep in, the stores we shop at, the restaurants where we dine, and we rank the music we listen to….While the range and significance of each score and measurement is diverse, one thing remains true – everyone and everything is measured and ranked.
On websites like GlassDoor, we even rank our employers. If we want to, as an organization, be the employer of choice, the provider of choice and the investment of choice, we must keep score.
Wondering whether or not we should keep score is simply naïve
A friend of mine recently took a VP role at a $100MM company that was not ranking individual sales reps’ performance and consistently missed sales goals. They were an old-school, Midwest, conservative firm that didn’t want to offend. Well, offend they did, as in, taking the offense! And, while so much was done to improve the performance of the sales team there, keeping score ranked tops in impact.
Everyone looked forward to the rankings and being out front. Those who weren’t did everything they could to move up in the pack….And the company, for the first time in its history, hit consecutive above goal quarters and its first year above plan in over five.
Another company we were recently advising on sales efficiencies – client recruitment, revenue generation and client retention – had just plain stopped keeping score on anything. Their performance showed it. After just a few simple metrics were put in place and routinely reviewed, not only are they tracking back toward record performance, their entire team is once again fully engaged and openly collaborating around the real measures of success.
Keeping Score Drives Success
People play differently when they’re keeping score. Your team needs a scoreboard so you can tell at a glance how you’re progressing towards your goals.
Chris McChesney , Franklin Covey’s Execution Practice leader, says:
“The highest level of performance comes from people who are emotionally engaged, and the highest level of engagement comes from knowing the score — that is, knowing whether one is winning or losing. If your team members don’t know whether they are winning the game, they are probably on their way to losing.”
The scoreboard is for the team — it needs to be big and visible and constantly updated. We’re not talking about the vast compilations of data a business runs on. All we need to see is the one lag measure and the most significant lead measures.
Keeping Score is About Motivation
High achievers are intensely interested in results and measure metrics for motivation.
The scoreboard enables people to track activities, compare results, and improve performance continuously. By watching the scoreboard closely, they can tell if their lead measures are well chosen.
Are their lead measures actually having an effect on the lag measures? If not, it’s time to rethink them. By watching the few scores that matter very closely, the team can change strategy if needed. Everyone becomes far more engaged, and this is the single most compelling way to activate “game face” energy and motivation.
Motivation, after all, is the real goal of any corporate scoreboard, whether it is for recruiting, hitting performance targets, or driving a new product campaign. You might use a sophisticated online tool, like your CRM, or simply an old school tote board in hallway. The point is simple – keep it very visible and talk about it often.
Make sure it is comprehensive enough to truly ensure it is helping you set the right pace yet comprehensible enough for everyone to be able to immediately understand, track and report on….All the essential information to clearly pinpoint where the team is today must be readily at hand, and it must always reflect the current reality of being either ahead, behind, or on track.
Maintain a Winning Edge
To maintain a winning edge and fast track your goals toward Peak Performance, you must keep your eye on the scoreboard. It first tells you where you are in relation to where you want to be. Second, it tells you about your skill in execution, and more importantly, where it needs to be improved. You need to know if the actions you are taking are going to get you where you want to go….
A regular inspection process is the only thing you can do to reinforce the predetermined performance standards set at the beginning. Done correctly, it will make you aware of your performance gaps, and it is this area you will focus on to achieve the results you are driving toward.
The cold, finger in the eye truth is this: no scoreboard = no wins, but definitely losses.
Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Oncology, Genetics and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Equipment and Device, Genomics and BioInformatics. His team manages recruitment for businesses focused on these areas in all roles.
As a leader who has worked at every level of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott is an intense professional who partners with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside.
Cerca Talent+ is a full-service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results.
We Provide Top Talent to create Peak Performance. That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at email@example.com, or call direct at 201-594-2101, and we will begin the process of finding you Top Talent guaranteed to help you set records.
4 Disciplines of Execution, Franklin Covey
“Execute with Excellence”, Shawn Moon