There are many things we can and do measure in our quest for progress.
- Revenue and how many units we sold;
- We measure footfall and customer conversions;
- Numbers of followers and how this marketing campaign performed compared to that one;
- Calories to lose, or
- The number of shoes we have, or number of suits or watches we have collected.
The mantra is that: if you can measure it, you can improve it.
So we focus on things we can measure, and the game begins, how to do increase my social media following, how to collect more shoes, how to increase this or that.
The irony is what looks like progress in the moment does not always lead to long-term results.
Progress is often made and sustained by things we cannot or do not measure.
We don’t measure how the customer felt an hour after she bought the expensive body lotion.
We can’t determine the last thought she had before she clicked on the link.
We will never know what she hasn’t told us about a bad experience as she leaves the restaurant vowing never to return.
We don’t often question how our employees feel at 7 am on Monday morning or the significance of their weary smiles at the end of the week.
We forget to question the effect of a toxic organisational culture or unnecessary and unproductive meetings.
On the flipside, we cannot always know the impact our product had on the life of a single customer.
We often do not hear the stories about what happened once the thing we made left the factory or the words that someone needed to hear left our lips.
Measuring how customers feel, the extent of their satisfaction is as important as measure how many customers we have.
Progress is not always to be found under the spotlight, sometimes it is hidden in the shadows.
We get to choose where we shine the light.