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Biz Tips

Keeping Score - by Randy Sikora

Imagine you are at the flight controls of an aircraft and just entered the clouds. You look out the window and you are bathed in a sea of white. Fortunately, your aeronautical training kicks in and you begin your dutiful scan of your avionics instrumentation. First, you refer to your attitude indicator to make certain your wings are level and you are maintaining altitude. Then, you confirm altitude with your altimeter. Next, you peak at your heading indicator and GPS system to make sure you are headed towards your destination. You perform this instrument check in under 15 seconds because you instrument current, instrument proficient and very experienced.

As the PIC (Pilot In Command) of your business, how are your instrument flying skills? Do you have a set of instruments that you (and your fellow leaders) can scan quickly to check the current quantitative health of operations?

Keep it Simple & Safe!
Designing your simple system will entail a bit of complexity to get started. The goal of a simple business “avionics suite” will necessitate boiling down each and every staff member to agree on a final singular score. Yes, just one number that will measure an individual’s weekly operational performance. The key is simplicity (possibly as the result of a more complex formula) and creating healthy a agreement/acceptance of the metric by all. For example, an instructor can be scored based upon the number of students they teach each week or a formula based upon the number of students vs the number of hours they teach. Instructional managers can be scored as a grand total of the instructors’ numbers.

Compared to what?
Building a data stream of “scores” will help to monitor progress, identify trends & seasonal fluctuations and provide an overall frame of reference. The goal of weekly public posting of scores is to provide your organization with objective, factual data. This will help staff to see where they stand both on their own ebbs & flows and where they stand compared to their fellow staff.

Spiritual Component
Before launching this system and assigning your people a number, meet with staff members to explain this process. More importantly, share your perspective on WHY you feel that experimenting with a weekly scorecard will help your organization. It is vital to reach a healthy agreement with your staff on how you are going to utilize this new (potentially scary) tool. Openly discuss some of the potential pitfalls of this process. Organizational involvement, buy-in and support will go a long way in implementing a successful scorecard.

Final Word
It is paramount to track progress to know where you are at any given time in order to effectively reach a destination on time (and on budget). Using a weekly simple scorecard as a tool will create healthy organizational competition if implemented in a safe, collaborative fashion. Involving staff in productive conversations on how to reach agreed upon future targets is your ultimate goal. Now go huddle up with your crew and pitch your idea to “pilot” a weekly scorecard initiative.