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Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has over 2 million social media followers, 1 million newsletter subscribers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organisations’

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Performance management – the measurement trap (part 1)

2 July 2021

The Measurement Trap in Strategic Performance Management

Performance measures are vital aspects of our organizations and performance management. To go with the words of the fifth century B.C. philosopher Philolaus – without measures we can understand nothing and know nothing. Once organizations have defined and clarified their strategy, measures can be used to gauge performance in comparison to, for example, their expectations, targets or competitors. Measures enable us to define future goals like a certain market share or shareholder value, and they should help us understand whether we are on the right track towards delivering our strategy. Indicators should allow us to challenge our business assumptions and provide us with insights that will guide our everyday decision making. Without indicators we can’t assess our success, we don’t know whether our assumptions or decisions were correct, and we don’t see whether we are moving into the right direction.

However, this is not what happens when most organizations implement performance management. What we see is often a very narrow use of measurement. Common reality is that there are too many metrics, no one knows why they are being collected, and most people agree that the measures that are used are not measuring what they are supposed to measure or what really matters. Organizations have become obsessed with measuring everything that walks and moves but often fail to measure what really matters. In many cases measurement has become an administrative burden where we spend a lot of our time collecting and reporting metrics, which we know is of little or no value. As a consequence, few strategic insights are extracted from the measures we collect and little or no learning takes place.

Data Strategy Book | Bernard Marr

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