Business Only Matters When It’s Measured


Imagine playing in a competition that does not keep a score?


Would that impact your motivation for participating? That may depend upon your reasons for playing in the first place.

For the majority of people who find purpose in competition, just as they find purpose in their work, it is important to know the score to understand the result of their performance – have they been successful?

But how frequently do you lose sight of your performance – the value of your efforts – your success?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are commonly considered to be the business equivalent of keeping the score. In fact, they are much more than that, because when used effectively, KPIs will also predict your success.


KPIs should include both ‘lead’ and ‘lag’ indicators. Lag indicators measure output and are historic. Lead indicators measure behaviour and input and are predictive.”


The past 40 years have seen a revolution in the use of predictive metrics, particularly in sport. I recall as a kid that the only metric that was regularly announced listening to AFL was the score itself. Now it’s preceded by at least a dozen predictive measures, such as ‘clearances’, ‘contested possessions’ and ‘entries into 50m zone’.

Like these predictive measures, to be truly valuable, your KPIs need to focus on those activities and behaviours that are the foundation for high performance.

If you do set your own KPIs to measure your success, here are 3 suggestions for you to apply to make them truly effective:

  1. Know how to use the KPIs – unless you know how to measure and apply your KPIs, you won’t be in a position for them to drive your business and predict your success. Be careful adopting other’s KPIs as your own. They need to be operable by you.


  1. Make the KPIs meaningful – if you don’t understand the relevance and purpose of the KPIs, you will have no reason to be motivated to use them. KPIs must relate to your success and the actions and behaviours you have identified that lead to that success.


  1. Ensure the KPIs drive performance – you should respond to the insights that the KPIs provide and purposefully adjust your actions and behaviours accordingly.

You need to ensure your KPIs are usable, meaningful and drive performance, otherwise you risk your success being at best a nil-all draw, at worse, an avoidable loss.

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