A couple weeks ago I mentioned that we’re building a more solid foundation with metrics on the team. I’ve had some people write in, curious about why that of all things and how we’re going about it.
I’ll address the why piece today. Since Q3 of last year, we’ve been doing some intensive team-building, in terms of both the number of teammates and the ways in which we’re working together. The area that’s been the hardest and the most valuable has been building myself out of day-to-day operations management so that I can focus more on creation and strategy. This shift continues what’s becoming a theme for the year: eating our own cooking.
Part of eating our own cooking has been my reviewing our workflows and team structures. I used the model from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team to see that where we needed to improve the most was in “attention to results.” When I was the ops boss, having more distributed knowledge about metrics and how to do it was less critical since I was doing the driving. Handing more of the driving over to Shannon and Josephine meant that I also had to turn over the map and dashboard.
Turning over the map and dashboard has meant that I’ve had to do a lot of teaching and systems-building. Articulating one’s strategic intuition, pattern recognition, and ability to move to strategic insight is no small feat, and we’re just getting started with it.
The effort is already paying dividends. As a few highlights, we’ve
- Doubled our email conversions on the website
- Changed the way we’re publishing the Pulse to be more effective, efficient, in alignment, and valuable
- Seen that publishing the podcast twice per week wasn’t giving us more juice for all of the extra squeezing we were doing
- Reevaluated what we’re doing with the Monthly Momentum Calls so that they’re more valuable for everyone
- Adjusted the plans we had for product and service development
Had I just been continuing to run ops, I highly doubt that we would’ve made the changes above. It was the training, discussions, and especially timely “what if?” questions posed by the rest of the team that prompted the changes. Without those, I’d probably have just kept doing things the way we started doing them.
We’re aware that not everything that counts can be counted, but a lot of what we’re doing can be evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively. And I’ve built enough teams to know that we have to proactively interrupt the pattern of doing more just because we have more people, rather than than doing less, better, because we have more people to focus on doing it better. If your team is doing 4 things at 60% efficacy, adding more teammates just so you can do 5 things at 60% doesn’t actually take you as far as you’d think; better to add more teammates so you can do those 4 things at 85%.
Not paying attention to results just leads to a bigger mess that costs more to create and clean up. (Tweet this)
Food for thought:
- How might you quantitatively or qualitatively start evaluating your own work? (Feel free to substitute “your team” for “your.”)
- How frequently do you need to evaluate what you’re doing?
- Who do you talk to about your results? Social processing really helps you understand your results and helps reveal blind spots.
(If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, our Guided Business Review provides a framework for evaluating your business’s results and progress. I highly recommend doing a business review before the summer hits you and gets away from you. It’ll be September before you know it.)