Imagine watching a tennis match without keeping score?
The French Open is generally held in late May-early June. Since nothing is normal these days, the French Open is currently being played as we speak (Sep-Oct). More on the French open and an unseeded player by the name of Lorenzo Guistino later in this email. Coming back to business scorecards or dashboards or business KPIs. You may have heard the phrase – if it’s not getting measured, it’s not getting done. My own business did not have a scorecard. Imagine going to watch a tennis game where there is no one keeping score. How do we know who won? How do we know when to change sides? In retrospect, it’s a shocker that I ran my business for years without a scorecard. Yes, I knew my numbers (to some extent) but I wasn’t looking at them consistently. I would check the balance sheets and the profit and loss statements every quarter (if my accountants could meet the timeline to have them ready by then). But that was me looking at the rearview mirror. I was complaining and cribbing about why we screwed up – more of a post mortem. What I needed was more of a dashcam mounted in the front of the car rather than a rearview mirror. I wanted to see things as they happened so I could adjust the course, hit the brakes if required, accelerate if need be…. you get the point. We (my team and me) started building out a scorecard – a set of activity level numbers that would give us a “pulse” of the business. Looking at this scorecard would be like a doctor looking at a blood test and knowing if you need further screening or just a few vitamins to keep fit. This scorecard would tell us the issues and challenges that we are facing as we execute – generate leads, meet sales prospects, send proposals, close deals, deliver products, collect payments and keep customers happy.
Using the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) component of Data, we built a scorecard in our company with everyone owning at least one or more measurable or items. This brought in accountability (even in me – I am the business owner – and I am allowed to slack off). I would be lying if I said that it was easy and all rosy. It took us over 4 months of tracking lots of data to hone into our ideal scorecard which made sense. Once this was sorted at my leadership level, then my leaders started rolling out expanded versions of their own scorecard for their own departments.
This has changed the way we look at the business – this is truly our dashcam showing us what’s coming up. Yes, we still complain about the environment, COVID-19, and Facebook listening to my conversation and showing me an ad about my travel plans to the Amalfi coast. But we are more comfortable taking decisions, seeing things as they are, and steering to a better path as we see our scorecard on a weekly basis. All credit to doing it the EOS way.
Reply to my email asking for access to my scorecard, if you want to see what I am tracking at the leadership level on my company’s scorecard.
- How to build a rapport while wearing a mask? Interesting article from Harvard Business Research (HBR). Yes, don’t wear a mask while “Zooming”
- How to get accountability when your employees are working from home? Mike Paton from EOS shares what this means. Smart tip: See the video.
- That didn’t take an hour. From legendary VC and Investor, Brad Feld – why meetings should be more effective and how he schedules his life around a tight calendar.
On September 28th, 2020 at Roland Garros, playing on court 14 with one camera covering the match from one angle only, with no spectators due to COVID-19 regulations, a little known Italian tennis player by the name of Lorenzo Giustino beat another unknown French player by the name of Corentin (not funny, it sounds like Quarantine in French) Moutet.
The score in favour of Giustino was
0-6 7-6 7-6 2-6 18-16
Yes, Giustino started horribly losing the first set 6-0. He had to fight off the next two sets in a tie break going the distance. He lost the fourth set and had a marathon of a final set, eventually winning the match in 6 hours and 5 minutes – almost breaking the record at Roland Garros. 6 hours and 5 minutes on the court for a guy who has NEVER won a tennis match in the PROs.
Lesson for us “business” professionals”: It’s not the end of the world if we start out like a dud. We have work one “point” (activity) at a time and win the “set” (our goals) eventually helping us be successful at whatever we do (win the match). We should look at the scorecard consistently so we see what needs to be done and not give up till the end!