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Create and Sustain a Learning Measurement Culture

January 16, 2019
Jan 16, 2019 6:00 PM

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, was a phrase originated by management guru Peter Drucker.  It is not just a phrase but it is a reality for many organizations, especially those looking to drive measurement into their business decision-making.  A measurement culture includes the values, beliefs and behaviors from the top down in an organization that are rooted in using measurement and data to drive decisions.A measurement culture needs to have the following elements to build it such that it’s embraced by the organization.Believe and Value Measurement.Take Your Stance on Measurement.Lose the Fear of Measurement.Remove Barriers to Change.Build Recognition and Rewards.First let’s discuss how you can believe and value measurement.  This starts with a vision for the benefits of using measurement.  Focus on two primary benefits:  1) showcasing value and 2) continuous improvement.Next let’s discuss taking a stance on measurement.   Use an evidence-based approach to measuring impact.  This is the path where roughly reasonable data is acceptable.  Your team can gather evidence of value and impact and of improvement opportunities but it need not be perfect or causal when reasonable and correlative is okay.  This approach can be a repeatable process if you use standard survey instruments that are predictive and prescriptive in nature and pair them up with trends of business results that are operational or capability-based.Third, lose the fear of measurement. Many teams measure what is easy or what makes them look good or they don’t measure at all out of fear they will look bad or have some improving to do.  Measurement is a means not an end.  You measure to show value and to find improvements.  Measurement is also a way to increase collaboration with stakeholders and business partners around a common set of goals and desired outcomes.  A measurement culture loses the fear of measurement by being transparent with themselves and with their stakeholders.Next your measurement culture is created when you remove barriers to change.  Change management is often overlooked when creating a measurement culture.   To remove barriers to change, the organization should  1) have a team leader communicate a compelling and articulate case for a measurement culture, 2) allow all impacted team members the opportunity to share their feedback  3) allow all impacted team members resources to adjust to the change and 4) keeping things simple by ensuring the team that the resources and processes to implement and sustain a measurement culture will not be their ‘2nd job’ but rather will become part of their daily job.Finally, the culture is further reinforced by building recognition and rewards.  For example, when team members make efforts to gather business metrics before, during or after a strategic program and they sit down with stakeholders to review it, that should be recognized.Sustaining a culture happens when you focus on the following attributes:PeopleProcessToolsFirst, let’s discuss people.  People sustain the measurement culture by making it part of their role, continuing to immerse themselves in the inputs and outputs and being collaborative with team members and stakeholders to share measurement results in user-friendly ways so others can act on the data in a timely manner.Next, let’s discuss process and how it will sustain a measurement culture.  The key to a measurement process is to keep it simple.  Leverage standard surveys and standard methods of gathering operational or competency-based metrics.  Don’t create a highly custom process that requires significant adjustments every time you do measurement.Finally there are tools.  Tools are enablers to the process and the people managing the process.  If there are no tools or inadequate tools or the wrong tools, the process will breakdown, the people will become disengaged and the measurement culture will collapse. Invest in the right tools that fit the measurement needs and those tools will automate data collection, reporting and even analysis.  The right tools can immensely support, sustain and help in the growth and maturity of the measurement culture.  Choose your tools wisely.Want to learn more?  Download our free white paper 'Creating a Measurement Culture' at or join our webinar on April 10, 2019 to discuss Creating a Learning Measurement Culture, register at you,The Performitiv Team