Perfectionism can be the antithesis of good business. That fixation of doing things right, rather than doing the right things, can move us away from the goals that matter.
I think there’s a lot of talk on KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), but it’s hard for many people to slow down, think, and identify the core things that matter. It’s even harder to quantify what does matter. We tend to talk in qualitative terms:
That’s a nice person.
I like their work.
We are making progress.
Did the work produce a return on investment?
What percentage of progress?
If you can step back and think about numbers that matter so you can hit your goals, then there’s an accountability, focus and output that keeps the focus where it needs to be without ambiguity. What gets measured gets done. And those metrics have to be thoughtfully created, tested and transparent so everyone knows whether the right things are being done.
There are many attributes our intuition can take into account, but good measurement focuses the bottom line around what truly matters to you.
Want more revenue? How much? What actions consistently done contribute to that goal?
Want a better reputation in the marketplace? How about setting the goal front and center of getting four star plus ratings on Google and Yelp? Let your customers score you and keep the current score front and center to see how you are doing today. If you’re low, it forces you to make adjustments based on feedback.
Yes, we can bury ourselves in the many things we want to consider. But it’s hard enough to get any goal when everything is working against you. But you can get one or a few that truly matter and put all your energy into closing the gap.
Pick a goal. Design the way to measure progress towards the goal. Then work relentlessly to stay honest with yourself and others that contribute towards that metric.