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Saying goodbye to KPIs - the human way of measuring success’

  • Written by Mark LeBusque

If COVID-19 has taught us one huge lesson, it’s that we are going to have to say our goodbyes to a whole raft of measures, processes and practices that are no longer useful in the world that has become business unusual. 

The challenging part of saying goodbye is that you will be farewelling some long held beliefs and letting go of the hand of some “dear friends” that have helped you to be successful as a manager and rewarded you as you had progressed in you career. 

One of these is the affliction of “measuritis” or put simply measuring for the sake of it to convince others or yourself of your level of competence, capability and overall success. 

Creating those weekly reports that get distributed to 100’s or 1000’s of important people who may never even open them.  

So, how should you approach this? 

Should it be “big bang” style where the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater, or perhaps something a little more considered and phased over time. Could it even be a combination of both? 

Here’s something that will be hard to swallow as this statement has been a dear friend to many a manager, and it will seem like goodbye is the hardest thing to say. 

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”

Oh no that’s preposterous I hear you say. 

We’ve been conditioned by the old way that we need to measure everything into an inch of its life in order to make decisions on the future direction of a business. How many widgets have you sold? What’s the ROI? Why are our costs 2% higher than expected YTD? How did we slip 6 points on the annual engagement survey? It has encouraged short-termism and has not allowed managers to focus on another element that is important in building a business that can be successful over a sustained period. 

The human measures of success. 

What if you said goodbye to some of the old numerical measures and added to them more awareness on the human elements that have helped organisations through an unprecedented time in the last 10 weeks? 

What if you moved on from the affliction of “measuritis”?

I’ve got four new human measures that I want to share with you that have worked for me to create sustained success in a business. There was no weekly KPI sheet in sight, in fact we said goodbye to unnecessary KPI’s and “mesasuritis” and moved to building greater awareness. 

Awareness and adjustment are the key here to embrace human measures of success. This is not about creating a KPI sheet that you pore over each week in the hope that you can find a trend that has been hiding amongst the numbers on a page. In fact, it's not about numbers at all. It’s about how you choose to be and not what you choose to do. 

I call it Humannovation. 

We are humans beings who have become humans doings and need to rebalance this. 

The four heightened areas of awareness that I introduced and that not surprisingly have surfaced over the past 10 weeks are as follows:  

Thankfulness – two words that we have lost somewhere in the craziness of being in business mode are “thank you”. Becoming more aware of giving thanks to a fellow human or receiving thanks will spike our levels of dopamine and have us looking for more of this. It all helps in building high performing teams. 

Helpfulness – asking for help has been taboo in the cut-throat world of needing to know the answers to everything, a sign of weakness if you like. Giving help to others can be tough as well particularly if you are worried that in a competitive world it is better to help yourself to progress. Become more aware of the power of being helpful even if it’s just one act of helpfulness per day.   

Care – humans are hurting right now and care has become one of the most important currencies of business. Checking in on another humans to see that they’re OK is no longer a once in a year event. Be aware of those around you and simply check in with humans who have fallen on some very tough times. 

Fun – Business is business and business is serious so fun and business should never be uttered in the same breath. Build some time in for fun and become aware of the impact it has when humans get together and have a good old belly laugh. Change your story and say goodbye to the crazy notion that business and fun are mutually exclusive.    

It’s time to embrace Humannovation 

More about #beingbeforedoing 

Less about “measuritis” and more about awareness

What will you say goodbye to? 



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