There are many definitions of the word “win.” When it comes to life and business, here is my personal favorite:

To reach some destination or object, despite difficulty or toil.

Winning can be about victory or being first across the finish line, but for me, the important part of winning is when you can answer “yes” to these two questions:

  1. Did we get what we wanted from this effort?

       and

2What evidence do we have that we did?

If you’re a business owner who isn’t able to answer these questions consistently, here are two tips and tools to consider:

Create and Use a Scorecard. Imagine you show up to the baseball stadium to watch your favorite team and you’ve missed the start of the game. Fortunately, there are 3 numbers you can see on the scoreboard: runs, hits and errors. With only that information available, do you have a pulse on how the game is going?

Like the essentials of the baseball scorecard, your business needs the right handful of weekly numbers to have strong confidence that you’re on track to win the month when that part of the game is over. If you wait until the month is over to know, it’s too late to do anything about it.

Assign a measurable number to every position. For every position you have in your company, how do we know the people are doing their jobs well? Since we expect different results from every position, those results should be measured in a way that makes sense and is crystal clear for both the person in the position as well as the manager in charge. That way, the people in those positions know whether or not they’re meeting expectations, and management knows where its performance needs improvement. It’s clear and objective and no one can hide.

Keep in mind that scorecards and measurables are different tools used to quantify different things. Used appropriately, you would use them this way:

  1. The Scorecard is a tool designed by, for and around the team. It tells us whether or not the team is winning. It starts with the leadership team and migrates to all teams within the company. Using our baseball analogy, think of this just like the big video scoreboard in the outfield.
  2. A Measurable is a simple tool designed for the individual seat or position. It tells us whether or not our individual performers are meeting our expectations consistently. Each position has a different number(s). We expect different levels of performance from our shortstop than we do our designated hitter. Management should be clear, and the people should be clear.

What scorecards and measurables are you using in your business? I would love to hear your feedback.