Measure what Matters

8028280860?profile=originalAccording to Michael Henderson, Corporate Anthropologist on Oscar Trimboli’s Deep Listening Podcast, people in the western world like threes because we like balance.

We like Low, Medium and High. We like the Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

We also like it when a salesperson stops at three when telling us about the wonders of their product. Trust and desire builds to three and starts to wane above three. As in, “Why does she need to keep listing stuff? Is there something not great about this product?”

And when it comes to decision making, we like to discuss it in terms of past, present and future – What, So What, Now What.

Recently I was asked, along with my colleague Dr Andrew Pratley who specialises in making meaning of data, by a client to help them revisit their KPIs. The challenge we were set by the CEO was to come up with three KPIs that will drive optimal decision making. That is, the three measures the organisation can turn to when considering significant decisions.

As the project progressed we recognised that three KPIs were excellent for focussing on the business’s performance.  However, due to the complexity of the organisation, to achieve the goal of better decision making, we needed something more in depth to drive optimal decision making.

KPIs alone are fraught with danger because the decisions of one department in an organisation, focused on a particular KPI, will often make decisions detrimental to other departments.

What was actually needed was a decision framework. A methodology for driving decisions in departments, by the executive and by the board that were in the best interests of the organisation as a whole. And that meant determining at the department level what needed to be measured to ensure progress towards the high level KPIs we devised.

In the words of a senior member of staff, this is not what we thought we would get, however, it is far more useful.

So while KPIs matter, what matters more is measuring the individual drivers of decisions at the departmental, executive and board level.



Bryan's new book teaches you practical methods to cut through with your advice and make the impact you want to make. Available on Amazon or order here now.



Available on Amazon or order here now.

Bryan Whitefield works with strategic leaders across all sectors to help organisations harness uncertainty – uncertainty is the strategic leader’s best friend. He is the author of DECIDE: How to Manage the Risk in Your Decision Making and Winning Conversations: How to turn red tape into blue ribbon. He is the designer of the Risk Culture: Build Your Tribe of Advocates Program for support functions and the Persuasive Adviser Program for internal advisers. Both can be booked individually or in-house. For more information about Bryan, please click here.

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Bryan is a management consultant operating since 2001, specialising in risk-based decision making and influencing decision makers, born from his more than twenty years of facilitating executive and board workshops.

Bryan’s experience as a risk practitioner includes the design and implementation of risk management programs for more than 150 organisations across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Bryan is the author of Risky Business : How Successful Organisations Embrace Uncertainty; Persuasive Advising : How to Turn Red Tape into Blue Ribbon, and Team Think : Unlock the Power of the Collective Mind [to be published in 2022].

He is licenced by the RMIA as a Certified Chief Risk Officer (CCRO) and is the designer and facilitator of their flagship Enterprise Risk Course since 2019.

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