During a recent conversation on strategy a colleague said to me, “If everyone who measured results owned a scale then they would never be overweight.” The point that was trying to be made by saying this is that if you always focus on the outputs and never the inputs then likelihood of achieving the desired result is minimal (simple yet so true).
Think about this concept it applies to every area in your life or career and it can sometimes be a huge blind spot. It is almost too easy to get focused on “measuring” results with all the analytical tools and applications out there. I can monitor my weight, bank accounts and email all on my phone with a couple swift touches. But if I look at the results and they are not what I want it’s not my phones fault for reporting but my fault for not analyzing the inputs to all those measurements. If I’m not at the weight I want, what am I eating? If savings is not where I want it, where’s my money going? If I have too many emails, what is causing all messages to be sent?
This thinking goes well beyond oneself. Look at your company your performance. Why is your company not a leader? Why are you not in the position you want to be?
To answer those questions the answer is not comparison (that is a trap). Comparing your company or your own career to the competition does not accomplish anything. Every company and person is different, no one can control all of that, but you can control inputs. If your company is not a leader take steps that would make a leader: increase productivity, innovation and value while decreasing your cost. Increase your knowledge of areas key to your position and add more tools to your belt.
If you are someone who likes to look at results daily, stop it and flip your focus. Analyze inputs daily and results once and awhile. By doing this I am sure you will be more pleased with the results.