More important, however, is that we choose wisely that which we monitor and/or measure. Another old saw is just as true: "Manipulate a batch of numbers long enough and they'll tell you anything you want to hear."
Performance can almost always be expressed as a formula:
Performance = Our chosen objectives
The cost in time/money/effort in achieving those objectives
Higher performance can be achieved by increases in the top number (the numerator) of that quotient. BUT, performance can also appear to be higher if we somehow LOWER the number in the bottom (the denominator) of that formula. Ratios are like that...
Our success depends on some simple core principles:
- Making well-considered decisions about how we define success for ourselves in the LONG-TERM (refusing to become slaves to the short-term objectives).
- Developing quality tools and establishing meaningful metrics to assess how well we are achieving those goals.
- Refusing to manipulate the numbers just so they'll tell us what we want to hear.
We can either choose to live/work/serve with fidelity, or we can take the delusional approach, faking and manipulating the numbers.