Metrics for Managers
By Roger La Salle
Measuring work performance is vital to ensure we are making good decisions.
Indeed, there is an old saying: “if you can’t measure it, don’t change it”.
This particularly applies to process innovation where the cost benefit of changes can usually be accurately quantified before they are ever made.
Do Innovation Managers deliver?
As for innovation management the same applies.
If you are investing in innovation then it is important to understand the return that investment delivers. That is real returns and not abstractions like “It’s important to be seen as innovative”! Further, the return should ideally be forthcoming within 18 months. If this is not happening then it may be time to entirely review your approach.
Measuring the Cost benefit
It is interesting that in many businesses the cost benefit of most employees can be accurately measured.
In processes of course this is easy, so too in accounting and law and consulting where people are expected to bill typically 70 to 80 percent of their time to a client at a rate of at least double their actually cost. This is easy to measure with time sheets.
Abstract job functions
But what of the managers of:
• and so on, and what of their subordinate staff and executive assistants?
I am often amused when I see the English version of “The Office” with people silently poised over computer keyboards. One wonders just what value each and every one is delivering and moreover if and how it is measured?
As you career develops you may reach the dizzy heights of senior management or even get lost in the bureaucracy. Apart from some KPI’s that can usually be met by clever operators, there is usually no real measure of the return on investment that you or even your position delivers. What would happen if you or that position was no longer there? Would somebody take up the slack, perhaps the business may well proceed as normal?
In the case of very senior positions, perhaps those people making several millions of dollars per year, this is an interesting question.
One answer may be to explore the value and accuracy of decision making. For example if one person at the top can make just one better decision than a person that may have been passed over for the position, that single better decision may be worth millions, or even billions.
Steve Jobs was a classic example of a great decision maker.
More work to be done on this!
The bottom line is that we need to find proper ROI measures for all positions to be sure each and every staff member is delivering at least twice what they are costing.
More will be said in this is coming months.
Roger La Salle, is the creator of the “Matrix Thinking”™ technique and is widely sought after as an international speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development. He is the author of four books, Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australian and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panellist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. Matrix Thinking is now used in more than 26 countries and licensed to Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. www.matrixthinking.com