Leadership Nudge® 418 – Measuring is not monitoring admin March 22, 2023

Leadership Nudge® 418 – Measuring is not monitoring

Intent-based organizations don’t need monitoring systems, but measuring systems are important. Here’s David with more about the distinction between monitoring and measuring.

I want to talk a little bit about the difference between monitoring systems and measuring systems.  

Now, a monitoring system is something like what we had, which was every week, we had a meeting where the department heads would show up, had a big book, and they’d have to report on all the things that they were responsible on.  

And there was sort of a “stump the dummy” where the captain or the XO would ask them questions until they didn’t know and they’d be embarrassed. And we felt like we’d done our job and it was really worthless. But the key problem was we were poaching ownership. We were stealing the ownership, we were making their jobs, our jobs.  

So in the best performing organizations, you don’t need . . . that the people who own projects are reporting those at a frequency to their bosses so quickly that the bosses don’t feel like they need to go down and say, “Oh, what’s going on with projects?” Because they already know and they’re being invited, they’re being informed of and invited to give their advice on key decisions that are coming up.  

Now, measuring systems are different. Measuring systems are, “Hey, how many hits did we get on our website? What was the average feedback on the last five sessions that we did? How much oil is in the tanks? And what’s the trend over the last few days?” Measuring systems – you want and you need the people who own different processes and projects to have key measuring systems to let them know what’s going on. We’re not saying eliminate those, you need that. But we’re eliminating that sense of the boss poaching ownership from the person with some sort of a periodic accountability session. Let the person own their job.  

I’m David Marquet. That’s your Leadership Nudge.