How do you track your progress and monitor the impact of your actions? How do you know if you are winning? As a leader, you should have an answer to these questions. My answer: look at your scorecard.
Last week, I shared a few ideas to get you started as you create your own scorecard: Keep it focused, Keep it balanced and Include both process and output metrics. Today, a few more ideas on how to create a scorecard that makes a difference.
Make it visual – If you are the CFO or some other finance professional, you may not need to heed this advice. For the rest of the world, a graphically represented scorecard is infinitely more powerful than a spreadsheet full of numbers. If your current scorecard is not graphically oriented, ask some of your frontline employees to talk to you about the scorecard. Good luck. I’ve tried this. Often, the best you’ll get are vague generalities about the state of performance, and most of that will be based on what they were told by another team member or a supervisor. When you make your scorecard visual, you make it accessible. When it becomes accessible, it becomes actionable. Informed action drives performance!
Include your goals – What does a win look like? How does your team score? Imagine a football game with no goal line. Including your goals on your scorecard provides context. It helps your team know when an intervention is in order e. g., “We’re half way through the year and we’ve only accomplish 25% of our goal.” The natural question: “What should we do differently in the second half of the year?” Imagine that same conversation if your scorecard does not include the goal. “Isn’t that interesting we’ve accomplished blah, blah, blah in the first six months of the year,” end of conversation.
Update it frequently – An outdated scorecard is like last week’s news. Who cares? If you don’t believe it, just pay attention to what happens the next time you are at a live sports event and the scoreboard doesn’t change instantly when your team scores. The crowd will start screaming until the board is updated. If you want to enjoy the full power of a scorecard, keep it current.
Reference it often – Granted, this advice is not about creating a scorecard, but using it. I have encountered leaders and teams who have a scorecard but behave as if they don’t. I’m reminded of the saying, “The man who doesn’t read is no better off than the man who cannot.” The team who does not use their scorecard and make it an active point of conversation, problem-solving and accountability, is no better off than the team without a scorecard. Build it and use it!
A scorecard doesn’t guarantee success, but to lead without one is like flying a plane blindfolded. If you are attempting to pilot an organization without a scorecard, I don’t want to fly on your plane and neither do your people.[GLS_Shield]