Sunday, December 1, 2013

Focus and Leverage Part 283

In this posting I will continue to write about a great book I am reading, The 4 Disciplines of Execution:  Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals.  We’ll discuss Disciplines 3:  Keep a Compelling Scorecard.  According to the authors, Discipline 3 is the discipline of engagement, so let’s look into what they mean by that.

The authors tell us that “the key to engagement is a big, visible continually updated scorecard that is compelling to the players.”  So why is it that we put so much emphasis on the scoreboard.  The authors explain three important principles.  The first principle tell us that people play differently when they are keep score.  The authors clarify that there is a remarkable difference between a game where the leader scores and a game where the players score each other.  When the players score each other, the entire team takes ownership of the results.  They further tell us that while a coach’s scoreboard is complex and full of data, but a players scoreboard is simple.

The team member’s scoreboard is intended to motivate them to win, so if the scoreboard doesn’t motivate the players into action, it’s probably not compelling enough.  So let’s talk a bit about how to involve your teams in the development of a compelling scoreboard.  Involvement of the team in designing the scoreboard informs the team of their responsibilities and on what they should take action.  My personal favorite is a series of run charts with trend lines imbedded in them.  This allows the team members to see at a glance how their actions are impacting the results and whether or not they’re moving toward the winning score.  I also like to post it in a place where it has maximum visibility for the team.  The authors tell us that the more visible it is, the more the team will stay connected to the game.  They also tell us that if you want to motivate teams even more, then post the scoreboard where all of the teams can see it.  In doing so, it creates a competition of sorts.

It goes without saying that the scoreboard should contain both the lead and lag WIG measures as well as a brief explanation of measures themselves.  The authors also tell us to let the team build the scoreboard and I absolutely agree with this.  It’s also very important to keep the scoreboard updated.  By keeping it updated, the scoreboard will be seen as very important.  When I use run charts to track performance, imbedded in the chart is the target we are trying to achieve.  So in a nutshell the scoreboard should be simple, visible and complete.  The deliverable for Discipline 3 is a scoreboard that keeps the team engaged.

This completes the discussion on Discipline # 3, so in my next posting we will discuss and present Discipline # 4, Create a Cadence of Accountability.  When I started this series of postings I told you that every leader should have a copy of this wonderful book.  While I am summarizing it, you need to read the details within this book to fully understand its message.  The book also presents numerous case studies that demonstrate the full impact of 4DX.

Bob Sproull


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