Pinnacle Partners West

MEASURING SUCCESS

Measurements With Meaning - The Right Measures

Organizational measures are the foundational building blocks that shape an organization’s vision and action. All too often however, these measures do not receive the attention they deserve. In addition, it is common for organizations to overact and measure too much, resulting in the same results as when you don’t measure at all—a lack of understanding, focus, and direction.

The background of our journey in search of successful metrics

After working for more than 30 years in a variety of industries, Mark Nash and Sheila Poling had grown tired of watching organizations struggle with developing metrics and dashboards that, while often contained an amazing amount of information, rarely assisted the organization to achieve those big hairy audacious goals. While comparing various levels of success between the “best of the best” clients, Nash and Poling recognized that the number of measurements (metrics) was not the key to success. The very best organization, year in and year out, that either had worked with relied on a very small number of metrics.

This discovery led Nash and Poling to write the CRC Press book entitled The Right Measures. This business novel follows the paths of two companies with very different approaches to measuring success within the company. One, patterned off of the “best of the best” client Nash had worked with over the years, is compared with a second company that Nash and Poling were both too familiar with; the over analyzing, scorecard heavy, “too many metrics to understand” company.

Researching the processes and philosophy involved in both scenarios, as well as studying companies that measured nothing, Nash developed a measurement system linking the critical measurements at the very top of the organization all the way through to the metrics used to analyze the individual employee at the very bottom of the organizational chart.

This system, Measurements with Meaning, allows management at all levels of the organization to manage as opposed to react. Understanding what is critical to success and what is intended as “local indicators” changes the approach used by employees and management alike to move from “business as usual” to world-class.

Our commitment to Measurements With Meaning

Our goal in working with clients is to assist the organization in developing a system of operational excellence driven by Measurements With Meaning. that stands on it’s own without long-term support from us. Our sole purpose is to facilitate the develop of and educate your team on how to manage the system. While starting at the top of the organization is the most practical and efficient way to develop the system, we can and often do start somewhere in the middle.

Why? Simply because each organization is at a different place in their lifecycle, and many times one level of management is seeking a solution ahead of the rest of the management team. It does not matter where you start, as long as you can link all levels’ Measurements With Meaning throughout the organization when the process is complete.

THE BOOK

The Right Measures: The Story of a Company’s Journey to Find the True Indicators of Its Success and Values,  by Mark A. Nash and Sheila R. Poling.  The book that evolved from our work with companies looking for the right way to measure success is available at CRC Press and Amazon.