Photo by dawnhops

I have touched the subjects of information, vital signs and the right way of measurement many times in this blog. That is why I rejoiced when I saw a post by Seth Godin titled: “Dashboards“. The idea is to create new and improved ways to present important information in real-time. Godin presents it from a marketing perspective. But it is just as applicable from a manager’s perspective.  An interesting quote:

Or consider the ambient dashboards that have been built in surprising ways. One company put pinwheels on a VPs desk. When sales went up, the pinwheels spun faster.

Just curious: what do you think would happen to energy consumption if every car registered in the US was required to have a digital mileage readout installed?

Imagine that you could sit at your table and see how each and every one of your employees is doing… that your dashboard will be able to show you the vital signs of your organization and employees. Imagine that your employees could see it as well, and get an instant validation for their efforts.

Of course when we design these dashboards we need to think about all the challenges that were mentioned in my other posts and in Godin’s one. What do we measure? We should be careful not to measure something just because it is there and available. We should think of the affects that the dashboard has on our decision and frame of thinking. Taking Godin’s example: do we really want to put sales as our vital sign? How will that effect decision making?

Challenges notwithstanding, I am pretty sure this is where management of people is going. Not only balanced scorecards that are discussed every quarter, but continues attention to details in real-time. The questions that this approach will raise cannot be predicted. We should especially be careful from short term attention this could create. But I am confident, that it will help us create a much needed culture of greatness.