Are measurable results the only ones that matter?

Did you know there’s a new version of the ‘star chart’ in schools? The digital-age version called Dojos. You do a good deed you get a Dojo, you do something dodgy, one could be taken away. Standard action-reward stuff, just now in an app for all to see.
We’ve all come across these before. Perhaps you rememebr the chart that had your name on it, either on the fridge, comparing you with your siblings, or on the school wall, highlighting your actions compared with your school mates’.  There was your name, in neat handwriting down the left with a hopeful blank column, waiting to be filled with stars.

In the class Dojo system, there is currently a predictable distribution of ‘points’ — nothing unusual amongst an average population of 9 year-olds. Most have earned two or three Dojos. One girl is streaking ahead with six. Then there is Tom without a single star to his name. There’s always a Tom.
Everybody, including Tom, knows he’s at the bottom of the Dojo pile. And nobody, including Tom, really knows why. Dojo-less, Tom now bears the label of ‘the naughty one’ because he can’t seem to get to grips with performing at a Dojo-worthy level, of doing the measurable Dojo-worthy things.

And so it is in business, where most success is defined by what it’s easy to put a number on.

Revenue, sales, profits, visitors, growth, impressions, likes, database size, event numbers, open rates, page views etc. All the things that fit neatly on a spreadsheet.  And yes, they’re important, and the truth is spreadsheets – like Dojo apps – don’t lie.

The problem is, they don’t tell the whole story. There’s no measurement for the intentions we have, the effort we made, the impact of our work and the difference we will make over time—not just this term or this quarter.

Interestingly the people with the most Dojos, or gold stars, or numbers on their spreadsheets, don’t always win.

In fact, sometimes they lose. They’re often so busy reaching for the stars to stick on the chart, doing the Dojo-worthy deed, that they forget to really see the brightest stars or the daring deeds outside the Dojo.

I hope you’re spending some time NOT measuring your success on an app or a star chart.

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