Imagine yourself at a basketball game. Just before the tip-off, the announcer lets everyone know that although the scoreboard isn’t working, tonight’s game will go on as scheduled. He explains that the players are ready to go and that the sports writers will report the outcome by the end of the month. Would you be content to watch the action and then wait a few weeks for the results?
Now think about your business. Have you asked people how they’re doing only to hear “I’ve been busy, I’m having a good week, the weather is killing us,” etc? Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night, even when things are going well, because you’re not sure what’s driving your results? You’re not alone.
Many business owners suffer from anxiety over not having a pulse on their business. As in sports, a scorecard gives you timely information about how well you’re doing. And, just like the basketball coach, it allows you to make timely adjustments that will help you win. Unfortunately, most business owners find themselves in month-end financial reviews pouring over income statements, listening to lots of reasons and excuses for why the company fell short of its goals.
An effective scorecard measures the activities that drive results. This gives you assurance that your processes are working and that your organization is taking ownership for results. Building a robust scorecard is easier than you might think. Challenge your leadership team to think about key activities that must be performed well. How can these activities be measured? Give everyone on your team a number, a measurable that they are held accountable for achieving. These activities roll up to your company scorecard allowing you to make the corrections necessary to keep the team on track.
Let’s go back to the basketball game. How well do you think those teams would play without keeping score? The scoreboard measures results, not efforts and reveals how well players are doing, not trying. It’s not about working up a sweat, it’s about producing results.
Work with your team to create a scorecard for your business. It will be rewarding and like a good game of basketball … fun!