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The Care and Feeding of Scoreboards

Posted by on March 26th, 2013 with 0 Comments

In June of 2010, my wife and I went to Pebble Beach to watch a round of golf at the US Open Tournament.

The weather was sunny and warm, with a breeze blowing in off of Monterey Bay.
The course was in beautiful condition.
We had a great view of the action.

And yet… I couldn’t get interested in the golfers.
The problem?

This empty scoreboard says it all by saying nothing.
Who cares?

The target is obvious, but without feedback it is very difficult to feign interest.
If we want to generate engagement in our employees, we must make the feedback obvious, just like in video games.
Leader boards, sometimes known as ‘fame and shame’ lists, are a great way to do this.

In my experience, these create immediate engagement.
Making data transparent empowers, in fact implores, employees to fix their own problems.
The same accountant that insists he doesn’t need training will be begging your for training after he sees that he or she is 5th out of 5 accountants in data accuracy.

“Several companies have experienced success with the public display of numerical performance results. In cultures such as those of Japan or China, where these practices have deep roots, open posting of quantitative results relative to targets can be used to shift the focus from one-on-one relationships between managers and subordinates to collective performance – and to convert the issue of individual loss of face into socially driven peer pressure to improve”
– Ernest Gundling, Working Globesmart

If you want your team to work SMART, you might need a scoreboard.

SMART as Hell Exercise:

  1. List: What numbers should be on your scoreboard?
  2. Reflect: Does your scoreboard track each hole? Each round?
  3. Ask: What would happen if you made scores public?

Share your comments, questions, and reflections below.

 

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