Leading with the score – how great leaders keep focusing on the goal by Toby Beresford

keeping-score

As a leader, one of your jobs is to keep those you lead focused on the goals you are trying to reach.

One approach in every leader’s toolkit is to own and share “the score”.

“The score” means how you have decided everyone will measure success, whether as individuals or as a group.

Whether we realise it or not, we all take account of the score. Indeed, if you don’t share the score, people will invent their own.

This can have hideous consequences, as people chase after the wrong activities – look at people who stay late at the office because they think “total amount of time at work” is the score that matters.

Instead of leaving their team or group guessing, great leaders take control of the score by choosing which KPIs matter and communicating them relevantly and regularly.

Leaders identify the scores that matter and communicate them in a relevant way

STEP 1
Identify the important digital signals for your goals. These are the metrics that go into making your score.

 

STEP 2
Next you need to share the score in a relevant way. Your options are:

personal scores – a score for each individual. This approach works best in a ‘group’ setting where everyone is fairly independent – e.g. a conference or a very large business
team scores – a collective score. This works best for internal teams – e.g. focus on a KPI such as number of visitors to our website each month
market comparison – in more mature markets it may be more relevant to focus on the comparison with peers – e.g. we are the number 1 supplier of milk in our region.
STEP 3
Finally, it’s not enough to communicate relevantly, you must also communicate regularly.

Whether a weekly email to a big screen TV leaderboard in the office, you need to remember that facts don’t speak for themselves. You must tell people the score, and keep telling them.

The medium you choose is important – people will take more notice of a great looking leaderboard emailed around once a week with their photo next to their name, than one hastily scrawled on a piece of paper and stapled on a busy noticeboard.

Why add scorekeeping to your leadership skills?

The score is an essential part of leadership. We all take account of the score whether we realise it or not. By communicating the score in a relevant and regular way, you go beyond mere measurement into providing actionable scorekeeping. As a leader you can use the score to achieve the goals you’ve set for your team.

 

So, how do you use scores in your leadership today? What scores are your team really focusing on right now? Have you communicated the right ones? What challenges have you faced when leading with the score?

 

Toby Beresford can be found on LinkedIn and is the CEO/Founder of Rise

Employee Recognition Through Gamification

The IBM Connections ecosystem gets better and better! Check out this employee recognition system. This is being rolled out to Connections customers today. Could this drive better motivation and engagement with your employees?

The Hive is social recognition program that changes how you motivate and retain employees, how your company celebrates success, and how you reinforce your corporate culture and values.

What are your thoughts?

Social Gaming – a Growing Trend

I found this Infographic very interesting. Whilst I consider myself an Xbox addict I tend to play shoot ’em ups. The Infographic below suggests that the fastest growing social games are word games with friends creaing friendly competition. Since 2010, social gaming has been expanding the gaming market and broadening the impact of gamification on business. And with sites like Zynga attracting 148 million unique gamers monthly, the trend is only growing.

 

Created by Flowtown

Gamification: Unlocking hidden collaboration potential

By Tim Royle, Guest Blogger, Executive Director, ISW

 

“If you can measure it you can improve it” is an old business adage that is easily applied to performance criteria such as manufacturing output levels or sales quotas. But, how can you apply measurement metrics to the more subjective sciences of collaboration and business success? Simple, the answer is “gamification.”

The following chart assumes an organizational performance level of 30 percent. By encouraging users to adopt social software through gamification, we have the opportunity to improve performance and drive bottom-line returns.

image

What is gamification?

Gamification is the application of game design techniques to business processes aimed at encouraging user adoption and participation. This is typically achieved by:

  • Achievement badges
  • Achievement levels
  • Reward systems
  • Leader boards

Why gamification?

The reasons are:

  • Gamification has the potential to unlock wasted talent and streamline business processes through enhanced collaboration.
  • Work processes rely increasingly on interacting with colleagues, partners, and customers in social networks; to manage performance, new performance management metrics are needed.
  • Younger and older generations alike identify with gamification and reward systems.
  • The gamification of business objectives and their breakdown into key performance indicators provides a new way for organizations to drive performance improvement.

The term gamification in some way perhaps trivializes what we are trying to achieve. Take the point of view of an inflexible or unprogressive manager: “I don’t want our people playing games on work time!” This is the same person who objected to the introduction of instant messaging saying “I don’t want our people chatting and wasting time.” The benefits of instant messaging, presence awareness, and screenshare are now universally acknowledged. So, nothing is new here, other than gamification, which simply faces the technology adoption curve.

 

How do we get started with gamification?

Go to gamification.org and to the gamification blog (gamification.co), which also provides useful reference material. IBM Connections users can visit kudosbadges.com site.

Having decided that the idea of implementing social software makes sense, next ensure that your social software strategy includes ways of measuring and rewarding users for their participation. The alignment of collaboration goals with business objectives is key. Having gamified collaboration goals, any business process can be similarly gamified.

For example, a marketing/sales process could be engineered in the following way: 500 letters – Direct Mail Badge

500 follow up phonecalls – Telemarketing Badge

50 meetings – Meeting Badge

20 proposals – Proposal Badge

1 order – Sales Badge

5 orders – Sales Guru Badge

The measurement of performance across this simple sales/marketing process may draw on data from disparate systems. For example, if the organization uses SAP, the lodgement of a purchase order attributable to the sales person will click the counter on the user’s Sales Badge. The integration of these systems is achieved through a gamification engine that displays progress in the place where it’s most needed, the social portal:

image

Organizations that are invested in business process management, Balanced Scorecard, or Six Sigma principles will have a head start in that much of the performance metrics for gamification will already be in place.

2012 gamification predictions

These are several predictions:

  • Organizations will embrace gamification.
  • Gamification will continue to thrive in the social software space.
  • Gamification will penetrate all business processes and systems.

Summary

Gamification offers a serious capability to improve organizational performance. Early adopters will benefit most; those who choose to be laggards will face increasing competitive pressure from those who embrace gamification and invest in the analysis of their business processes and structured measurement and reward systems.

Tim Royle is an Executive Director of ISW, Australian based IBM Premier Partner. ISW is an award-winning, pure-play IBM Business Partner that designs, implements, and supports solutions based on WebSphere, ICS, Tivoli, Rational, Information Management, and Cognos technologies. He has worked with IBM Collaboration Solutions since 1992 and has spoken at events such as Collective Intelligence, LCTY, AUSLUG, and Lotusphere. Tim is a member of the IBM Social Business social media IBM Redbooks team and spends his time focused on implementing successful social software solutions.

Tim is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader image Read further blogs from Tim and others here

Twitter: @twroyle