Defining which metrics to use in measuring the success of a company seems like one of the most basic responsibilities of any leader. Many executives can clearly state their company’s vision, but can they tell you how they will know if they are on the right track to get there?  Why can’t companies commit to a meaningful, well-defined, narrowly focused, single set of metrics that define success?

We can measure all sorts of things in business. Customer satisfaction, average call time, downtime, employee retention, net income, and the list goes on and on. All of these numbers, percentages, and graphs start to meld together and soon you have a massive blob of meaningless information. It doesn’t do any good to look at everything if you aren’t going to focus on anything. So, why is it so hard to pick a simple set of metrics? To choose among the multitude of available information requires commitment.

Choosing metrics means committing to a strategy.
Deciding the company strategy is the first step to determining which metrics to focus on. Are you going to be a low cost leader?  Customer-centric?  Succeed by building brand loyalty? Since no company can be all things to all people, you must decide which one strategy stands out above all others. Focusing on a smaller set of metrics forces you to pick the ones that are most relevant and meaningful. It’s like a resume. We can’t list every accomplishment from kindergarten until now on our resume because such a barrage of information that would lose meaning. Rather, we must focus on the accomplishments that give us the best chance of success.

Choosing metrics means committing to working as a team.
Everyone must participate in the company’s success at across the organization. We have to get out of our functional silos and be accountable for overall success. If we choose a customer- centric strategy and choose metrics to support that strategy, everyone, not just those on the front lines, must be held accountable for the customer experience.

Choosing metrics means committing to seeking the truth.
Sometimes the cold, hard facts are not easy to digest. We must accept that we may not like what we see initially and embrace the opportunity to excel.Successful leaders are unfailingly passionate about what they do. They genuinely care about their employees and customers and want everyone to succeed.  They must also get over the fear of commitment, take the plunge, and ultimately enjoy the resulting success. Subscribe to our blog for more information on company strategy.Photo Credit: ilovememphis