Your JumboTron

As basketball fans enter their favorite time of year, all eyes will be on the ever-present JumboTron.  In addition to all the flash, this giant scoreboard provides critical information to players, coaches, and fans.  In its larger-than-life format, everyone has up-to-the-nanosecond knowledge of the score, time remaining, period, and many other vital stats.

CAVS Scoreboard

Now, imagine trying to win a championship with no JumboTron; the players having no idea the score or time remaining at any given moment.  Think about how confusing this would be for coaches.  How can you course-correct if you don’t even know you’re behind?  Which strategy should you deploy if you have no idea how much time is left?  You can’t run a team solely based on gut feeling and instinct — It’s a recipe for mayhem.

So why so many companies operate without their own JumboTron?

In your company, is every department tracking different metrics? Are some people ignoring them all together? Is the info shared frequently out of date?  If you are playing basketball in The Finals, the score from last month’s game is probably not as important as what’s happening at that exact moment.  Yet most companies completely miss the opportunity to rally around a visible, clear, transparent, timely, and simple set of key metrics.  Instead, they choose to run their company on last quarter’s score, or worse yet, nothing at all.

When you think about building your own JumboTron, first determine what the important stats are to track, measure, and share for your company.  To avoid data overload, track no more than eight items.  Next, make sure the entire team is working off the same scoreboard so everyone is pushing toward a common outcome. Once the info is ready to roll, find a way to keep it front and center for your team…. just as the brilliant lights do, hanging over the center of a basketball court.

Don’t worry about fancy tech or making a big investment.  A marker board, daily email, or old-fashioned paper scorecard can keep your team in sync.  The important thing is having everyone focused on a consistent, small number of items that, in turn, will allow him or her to contribute in a more profound way.  It will also help you spot trouble early and adapt to changing circumstances without waiting 90 days for your financials to come back from the accountants.

The more you focus your energy around your own JumboTron, the more wins you’ll chalk up.  This is an approach that wins championships.

There’s not a stadium or arena in the world without a scoreboard.  And there shouldn’t be a company without one either.