#88 - Why I hate KPI's and what's a better way
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Hi there! In today's podcast episode of Rebel Leader With a Heart, I wanted to talk about the use of KPIs when transforming an organization or department and how you should probably avoid them.
Key Performance Indicators are traditionally used to measure how well a certain goal is achieved. When I call my telecom company to ask them for help, a ticket is opened to indicate a customer is in need of help. After I've been helped, that ticket is closed and marks that I've been successfully helped. However, over the years I noticed that this ticket is closed when people cannot help me and send me to a superior with better knowledge of the problem, regardless of whether my problem is solved by this person. This is a prime example of when KPIs are used to satisfy demands from management or the board, without actually satisfying the reason they were made for - helping customers.
I've seen this problem many times and it got me wondering… why?
The 4 levels of transformation
To answer the previous question, I must first explain the four levels of transformation within an organization. These are:
The first one is measuring, which many companies do through the use of reports and KPIs.
The second is looking at what you actually have at the moment: products or services for example.
The third level is "doing", these are the actions and processes that you put in place to achieve a certain goal. And last but certainly not least, is being. Your being is reflected through your emotions, beliefs, sensations, values and mindset. This is truly your identity and the identity of the people within the organization.
So what's actually wrong with those KPIs?
Inherently, nothing. The problem is that the levels are used in the wrong order; from the outside in. Most organizations want to meet certain KPIs, decide what products they need to have and what actions they need to take to achieve these and only as a last step, will look at the being and identity of the organization and its people. But research has shown that it's way more efficient to have a transformation from the inside out. So you start with changing the identity, the habits, the values of the people, then they start changing their behaviors, that's when you start getting results that you can measure.
And I know… many companies are already working with the agile methodology, but how are people supposed to adapt and function in this way, when they are still expected to work in the waterfall philosophy and have accurate predictions and reports? How are they supposed to think outside the box and take risks, when mistakes are still frowned upon so much? The agile methodology will only work, when you start changing the mindsets and beliefs of the people!
The ripple effect
A Yale University study shows that people who have a positive view about ageing live 7 years longer on average! It alsor educed the chance to develop dementia by 50%! Why am I telling you this?
Your identity, your being truly has an enormous impact on your actions. This research shows that! Not only about ageing, but the same philosophy also applies to your work life! So if you have the power to change your team in a meaningful way, start with changing those core values and the identity! You can always start by changing your own identity!
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