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7 deadly sins of business metrics

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

If your company’s measurement system is a mess, consider the seven deadly sins formulated by Pope Gregory the Great: gluttony, greed, wrath, lust, sloth, envy and pride.

Now compare those to the seven sins of corporate measurement:

1. Vanity. This sin uses measures devised solely to make managers look good.

2. Provincialism. This one lets departmental boundaries dictate perform­ance measures.

3. Narcissism. It’s widespread: measuring from your own point of view instead of the customer’s.

4. Laziness. You assume you know what’s important to measure.

5. Pettiness. You measure only a small portion of what matters because you’re fixated on details.

6. Inanity. Stupid consequences flow from measuring the wrong thing. An irresistible example: To avoid waste, a fast-food chain told employees not to cook chicken until it was ordered, turning the fast-food chain into a slow-food chain.

7. Frivolity. This happens when leaders don’t take metrics seriously.

— Adapted from “The Mis-measure of Work: Where Performance Metrics Go Wrong,” Michael Hammer and Lisa Hershman, The Conference Board Review.

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