Metrics Can Drive (or Not Drive) Leadership Behaviors for Innovation

When people focus on metrics and lose sight of the intended goal, the end result might be unintended behaviors and failed strategies meant to drive innovation. Metrics are intended to represent strategy and not become the strategy.
— By Daniel Perez

Metrics are one of the most misunderstood measurements of business performance. Meant to represent strategy and measure progress towards goals, they frequently become the focus at the sake of strategy. Innovation leaders are particularly at risk of falling into this trap because innovation is sometimes nebulous and difficult to measure. Instead of developing a strategy, the organization develops metrics that become the focal point. It is easy to concentrate on numbers because they project a sense of control and objectivity. When the measure of a strategy replaces the strategy, it is called surrogation, and it is likely the metrics are working against the organization. A focus on the metrics can lead to l...

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