From the Trenches

Does Every Goal Need to be Measured?

I am no longer sure that it makes sense to measure every corporate goal. My gut tells me that sometimes a better result is to agree upon a process to achieve continuous improvement.  A well-run process, in time, will achieve the goal.  

Many of us in the business world bought into the axiom “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” because it makes us look smart and on top of things. No matter how irrelevant or broad, showing off our numbers seemingly gives us the conquering edge.  While I agree that some things should be measured–try convincing your banker otherwise–there are many that do not require a yardstick.  How do you measure trust, confidence, passion or judgment, for example?  Or the daily routines that move the dial and are taken for granted?  

Measurement of the goal, in my view, means that more emphasis is placed on the outcome rather than on how to achieve the objective. And such measurement in many cases is based on fear—you must meet your number goals or else.

Our corporate goal is to provide the best possible “client experience”.  The term “client experience” covers every interaction that an existing or prospective client has with us.  It starts with how a client learns about us and goes to the delivery of a report and follow-up satisfaction call.

Achievement of the best “client experience” involves many interdependent steps.  I agree that without doing certain basics such as delivery of a quality service / product, the best experience will never take place. But meeting these fundamental objectives does not assure that the client’s expectations will be met.

Achieving the best “client experience” involves everyone thinking creatively about what positive changes, large or small, they can make  to meet this objective. Here, it is this continual collaboration, without the burden of unnecessary bureaucracy, that propels achievement. 

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