By the Time You Ask, “Did We Win?” It’s Too Late to Change the Score
Of the various definitions of “win” that you can find in a dictionary, the one I like best for business (and life) is:
“To reach a destination or object despite difficulty or toil”
It’s not about crossing the finish line first so much as it’s about whether you got what you wanted from the effort you put forth. It’s a simple yes/no. The question for you as a business leader is whether or not you want to be in control of the answer.
In that context, imagine that you’re a baseball manager who’s been hired to improve the performance of a losing team. Now imagine that while you see the players every day, the only data you get are the scores of every game, and that the first time you see any data about pitching, hitting or the performance of individual players is at the All-Star Break.
That scenario is silly on its face. Yet it’s also exactly how most businesses run. With data focused more on outcomes than activities, and with that data arriving 2-3 weeks after the end of the month or quarter, it’s too late to change how that month or quarter turned out.
EOS® provides two powerful tools to help you change that.
- The Scorecard. An enormous amount of the work that happens in most companies is the same day-in and day-out, week-in and week-out. These are activities that produce the results we want—the sales, the satisfied customers, the profit and the cash. The Scorecard captures the most important of these activities and sets a weekly goal for each one. These are the things we have to do every week in order to be on track for our “win.” It enables every team in the company to know at a glance whether they’re getting their part of the job done. Since they know what’s done in real time, they can intervene quickly to fix things that are off track …
- Measurables. A “measurable” is simply a Scorecard number applied to an individual team member. Break your Scorecards down to a point where every member of your team walks in every day knowing that they do something that gets measured and that contributes to whether or not the team wins.
Why does this work? Because people who know what they do is important, and know they will be measured on it, perform better than people who don’t.
So now, let’s go back to the baseball team you’ve been hired to manage. If it hits well, pitches well and makes very few fielding errors, you’re going to win a lot of games. Instead of flying blind for 90 days, imagine that you have team goals for batting average, on-base percentage, ERA, strike-outs and errors that, if you achieve them, will make you a lock for the playoffs. Imagine also that every player on your team knows exactly what they need to do, how well they have to hit, pitch or field, in order for the team to achieve its numbers. If everyone’s hitting their numbers, you’re good to go. If not–if red light’s start flashing here and there–you’ll know right away where the problem is, and you’ll be able to set about fixing it.
Baseball teams actually run that way. Your business can, too.
If you’d like to learn how Scorecards, Measurables and the other tools of EOS® can help you win, let us know. We’d love to show you how.