Hello!  We completed Week 4 of our four-week “bootcamp” July 13th on Single Metric Alignment.  

We began the session on Organizational Alignment with an HBR article (How Aligned is Your Organization?) and McKinsey white paper (The Aligned Organization) to set the stage.

As a caveat to using the Single Metric Approach blindly, we discussed an HBR article by Graham Kinney (The False Promise of a Single Metric), which argues the nature of today’s complex organizations means any single metric will naturally be insufficient in providing the full picture of a company’s health.

Kinney’s point has merit and a few key metrics tracking (better yet predicting) organizational performance is the gold standard. But truly effective balanced scorecards are not as common in organizations as one would hope.

This is partly because we love measuring things, and often fall into a “more is better” mindset. The result? Information overload: dozens of dashboards and scorecards measuring too many unimportant things.

Single Metric Alignment will swing the pendulum in the other direction. This means agreeing to one metric that stands above the others, and committing to it for a defined period (usually 6 to 18 months).

When launched and managed properly, Single Metric Alignment can be effective aligning teams, creating role clarity, and removing silos. Managers and individual contributors know what to do because they know how they’re being measured. I’ve used this successfully with sales and services teams, but not with entire Business Units or companies. And that’s where Single Metric Alignment falls short.

Our Bootcamp group recognized that a single metric risks creating perverse incentives, like at-any-cost sales growth generating negative profits.

This is a Beta Bootcamp and I’m road-testing each module I’ve developed to see how it holds up.

Key takeaway from Session #4: I will revise this module before launching our formal Bootcamp for Executives in mid-September.

Why Do This Bootcamp?

My primary purpose in developing this Bootcamp is helping hundreds of executives become more productive and effective leaders—reaching well beyond my handful of consulting clients.

Behavior change takes time. And now that the coursework is completed, our group is exploring ways to sustain our momentum with periodic check-in calls, site visits, and other follow-up activities.

If you’re interested in joining our official Bootcamp starting in mid-September or have any questions about this one, please contact me at frank.rowe@cecondopinion.com.