This quote has been attributed to a lot of people, so maybe its origin is lost in the mists of time.

No matter.  What’s important is that it contains a grain of truth.

This is about how humans treat incentives, mostly in organizations.  The key thing which guides behavior is someone’s attention, and attention can be maintained over time through having feedback.

As a leader, one of your crucial roles is to set up that feedback.  But there’s a lot of ways it can go wrong.

Let’s imagine that your trainer is helping you lose weight.  An admirable goal that everyone can agree to, so we have a good start.

Every day, your trainer weighs you.  But instead of telling you the number, you’re instead given a random number between 100 and 200.  You’ll figure out very quickly – probably the first day – that this has no relationship between your efforts and the results.

So a useful measure has to be based on actual performance.

trainerImagine that the trainer has a theory that your weight loss can be related to how high you can jump.  A weird theory, but you’re willing to give it a go for a week.  But you discover that this appears to have no relationship to your actual goal.

So a useful measure has to relate to the goal or mission, in a straightforward manner.

Or your trainer doesn’t tell you your weight, just the total of everyone in the group of 100.  That might be fine if the goal is group weight loss, but the danger is that you’ll lose inspiration by not feeling that your contribution makes much of a difference.

So a useful measure should also be visibly affected by the performance of individuals and teams.

Maybe your trainer is disorganized, and doesn’t give you your weight until a month later.  Surely you’re asking, “How am I supposed to modify my behavior if I don’t know how I’m doing for that long?”

So a useful measure must be timely to how quickly things change.

Here’s my question for you:  How are YOU doing in leading the measures for your organization?  You may have discovered that this isn’t necessarily obvious.

Well, I’m so passionate about this topic that I created a quick assessment to help you find out.  It’s no cost, no obligation, and in a brief time you’ll get some solid feedback on how you’re doing.  I’d love to help you take a leap forward in achieving the ambition mission of your great business!

Go give it a try; time is slipping by!