We collect data on SO MANY things, but do we really know what drives our business? It’s incredibly easy to over analyze or become overwhelmed by all the data. Instead, answer these three questions to see if you can narrow down what really matters.
What keeps you awake at night? Or put a different way . . . when you think about your business, what do you fear? Is it future sales? Or not finding the right talent? Or over budget projects? Many times these fears may be unfounded, but without a clear measurement and consistent follow-up these fears can take you away from the real work in your business.
What is your strategy? Maybe you have a dusty binder on the shelf from that strategy session you had countless months ago. It is full of great ideas and goals, but the everyday fires have taken priority. Dust off the strategy and see if you can find the measurements that should matter to your business.
What are the daily fires you fight? Do you feel that your role should be changed to “Fire Fighter”? Those daily fires can distract you from the real value lying within your capabilities. Fight the fires by recognizing them for what they are and find a way to prevent them from coming back. Continually measure that area of the business to not only extinguish the fires but also ensure they never start again.
Don’t try to measure everything. Start small, maybe 3 to 5 charts and then build from there. Now use the charts to run your business like a panel of levers. Look past the bar chart and ask . . . Do I want the values in this chart to increase or decrease? What business lever do I need to pull to the change that I want? If there is no clear answer, you have too many business levers imbedded in the chart. You may need to go back to the drawing board and simplify. Don’t focus on cool graphics, the latest chart types, and the most expensive technology trend. Focus instead on measures that bring clarity and action to your business.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!