This epiphany hit during the pondering of two realities when teaching a leadership team how to implement a Scorecard. Reality #1 is that most get it, take it, run with it, find it valuable, and achieve great results. Reality #2 is that some struggle with it, resist it, bump along, and continue making it more complex than it is. In this second reality when the complaint is that their scorecard “isn’t working,” it’s actually that they aren’t working.
What I realized after analyzing the above two realities is that the leadership teams who get results fundamentally believe in a handful of truths at their core, and the ones who struggle simply don’t fully embrace these truths. There are a total of seven truths, and if you don’t buy into and believe in them, you will always have challenges managing a Scorecard, metrics, measurables, or KPIs. Said another way, the leaders and entrepreneurs who are masterful at managing numbers subscribe to seven basic truths.
The seven truths are as follows. You have to believe that:
Truth #1: What gets measured gets done.You must be convinced that just the mere act of reviewing numbers every week increases awareness, peer pressure, and results—that reporting numbers drives action. As one client puts it, “just having a Scorecard is most of the value; it’s just a matter of doing it.”
Truth #2: Managing metrics saves time.You must believe that it actually is a time-management tool—that the time taken to first create your Scorecard and the subsequent 10 to 60 minutes you spend per week managing it is worth it and actually saves you time in reduced train wrecks, miscommunications, and leaders interrogating others to get a pulse.
Truth #3: A Scorecard gives you a pulse and the ability to predict.You have to know that a pure Scorecard with 13 weeks at a glance paints a vivid picture of your current reality and foretells your financial future.
Truth #4: You must inspect what you expect.As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.”
Truth #5: You can have accountability in a culture that is high trust and healthy.You must embrace the idea that “inspecting” and accountability doesn’t mean “I don’t trust you.” Frankly, accountability is the reason most healthy cultures are healthy.
Truth #6: A Scorecard requires hard work, discipline, and consistency to manage, but it’s worth it.As someone else said, “No pain, no gain.” Belief in a Scorecard and the tenacity it requires enables it to evolve over time into an incredibly valuable management tool.
Truth #7: One person must own it.That one person must make sure it’s prepared by someone every week and that all numbers are filled in each week and 100% accurate. If there is ever one thing wrong with the scorecard, everyone looks into that person’s eyes, usually the integrator.
If you don’t believe at your core in the above seven truths, your Scorecard will never fully work for you.
With that said, I trust that you are doing the basics: you’re reviewing your Scorecard every week with your leadership team; it contains only the 5 to 15 numbers; only one person is accountable for each number; there is an established goal for each measurable; and if the goal is not hit for the week, you drop it down and solve it later in the meeting.