off the railsMeasuring progress in your business is one of the most important tools you have.

Sure, you actually have to deliver a great product and amazing customer service, and you have to be out there marketing so that the customers know about you.  But even when you do that well, it’s possible to run off the rails.

You need some feedback.

Imagine that you were trying to drive blind across the city.  You might have the most accurate map in the world and a wonderful, powerful vehicle.  But being off by less than 1% will no doubt land you in the lake after a few miles.

The problem in business is that some things are easy to measure, but other crucial aspects are a bit harder.  Go ahead and track revenue, expenses, profit, hours worked, inventory, and customers served.  All wonderful and useful things.

But this probably isn’t the entirety of your business.  If you’re out there to accomplish something, and on a mission to improve the world, then you have more important goals.

Imagine that you want to establish your business as an asset to the tech community.  Just because you have customers doesn’t mean they’d miss you if you’re gone.  It doesn’t mean your services are improving the community.

You’ll want to add some unique measures.  You might look at the time and resources you donate to some key local causes.  Perhaps your marketing efforts also include community development, so you’ll want to track how you’re doing there.

These aren’t nearly as easy as tracking dollars in a bank account.

It’s absolutely vital that you end up with some balance in your measures, because what gets measured gets done.  If you want your people to contribute to your company’s position in the community, then you need to make this as visible as the other parts of their jobs.

Even though these can be a bit more difficult to measure sometimes.

Are you interested to see how you’re doing relative to leadership businesses for measuring progress on your mission?  Check out my new assessment at www.smallfish.us/mission.  You’ll get some solid feedback on where and how you can improve your leadership.  There’s no cost or obligation.


This article was first published in InnovatioNews.

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