Want more of it? Measure it

Want more of it? Measure it
“You have to measure what you want more of.”
~Charles Coonradt

Is it a law of the universe, as some people claim, that we get more of what we look at and look for? I don’t know. I just know that time after time clients share with me how much more they’re seeing of a desired behavior or outcome once they’ve started to look for it, to notice it, and even more, to measure it.

One client was explaining how ever since she started documenting (and celebrating) the occasions when her team members were on time for meetings, there seemed to be more on-time moments and less waiting for a meeting to begin in a room half-full of people. Another client mentioned that he was now officially documenting each new referral that came his way – and that somehow he’d had more referrals in the recent past than before. A third client commented that she had given her team specific, measurable goals around servicing their clients and meeting their needs – and she was receiving notes from satisfied clients as her team members seemed to focus more on what was important.

We make things important when we measure them. We draw attention to them – our attention and that of others – thereby reinforcing the need to focus on them and make them grow. Often we mistakenly measure the negatives, the things we don’t want, the less-than-desirable outcomes…but is that where we truly want to put our emphasis and effort? If we do get what we measure, what is it that we want to measure – so that we can get more of it?

What are you measuring? Is that what you want to grow? Determine what you need to have more of and find a way to notice, document, measure, and celebrate it. See what happens.

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What People Are Saying

Chet Haibel   |   01 August 2012

I used to report to Jim Deane, the first non-Japanese person to give the keynote address at the annual Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) meeting. Jim would correct persons who said “what you don’t measure won’t improve.” Jim would say “what you don’t measure AND MANAGE won’t improve.” And he proved that over and over if you want improvement, measure it, analyze the causes, enablers, and barriers, and MANAGE those.

Robyn McLeod   |   01 August 2012

Thank you for your comment, Chet! Jim Deane certainly said it well and got to the heart of what makes any change effort or initiative truly sustainable – leadership.