As we’ve noted in recent posts, the effective execution of improvement and other strategic initiatives results in both goal achievement and workforce engagement. Thus it is to any organization’s advantage to promote and enable effective execution… as presented in “The Four Disciplines of Execution,” a book by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, and Jim Huling.
The first two disciplines are setting Wildly Important Goals (WIGs or lag measures) and Lead Measures (activities).
The third discipline, which has a strong impact on engaging people throughout the organization, is a scoreboard.
The scoreboard shows the lead measures and lag measure defined in the first two disciplines. This scoreboard must be ‘a players’ scoreboard’ not a ‘coach’s scoreboard’. It must support, guide, and motivate the players to act effectively on the lead measures and influence the lag measures (WIG’s). It must have the feel of a game — people play the game differently when they are keeping score, and they play differently if they are keeping the score themselves!
In fact, the action of recording their own results has proved to have a strong effect on people ― fostering ownership, engagement, and a deeper appreciation of the impact of their effort.
However, as authors Covey, McChesney, and Huling point out, there are four important requirements to creating an effective scorecard that will truly promote execution and engagement:
- The scorecard must be visible. If it is out of sight, on your computer or on the back of the door, it is less effective at aligning the team to focus on moving those measurements.
- It must be simple, showing only the data required to ‘play the game’ ― to let the players know how they are doing day to day.
- It must show both lead and lag measures.
- It must show “at a glance” how the team or players are doing.
This scoreboard helps the team to both recognize their progress and also identify the next actions required to achieve the WIG’s; it also displays their achievement for all to see ― two critical components of engagement.
From a communication perspective, the scoreboard also plays a role in promoting a sense of accountability, which we’ll discuss in our next post.