As I work with organizations and leaders to create development plans, the challenge every time is How do I measure this? We all know that what is measured gets done AND some outcomes are difficult to measure.

Here are three things I preach to help create momentum for the process:

  1. It does not have to be perfect: When we invoke the success or failure mantra, we too often forget about the journey.  I offer my mantra:  Start somewhere / Keep improving / Move towards a desired outcome.  My mantra would make a terrible bumper sticker, but good ideas do not have to all fit on a bumper sticker.
  2. Use a business measure: I encourage leaders to use a number being produced today, mainly because most businesses do not need more metrics and most development goals should be tied to a business outcome.  It also helps leaders see the gaps they might have in planning and reporting.  If a goal is to increase sales in a region, and that number does not exist – then start there.
  3. When in doubt – start with measuring activities: It is okay to start with a quantitative or activity measure, so long as you are certain that activity, done regularly, will move you towards your desired outcome.  Here is an example.  One area many leaders struggle with is being seen as caring and respectful by their teams.  This is impossible to measure, but one activity that has been proven to impact this is focused one on one time with each person. Set a key measure of 30 minutes of one on one time with each person per month.  If you do this religiously for 12 months – it will make an impact.  At the end of 12 months – ask the next question:  What activity or input would help me gauge the quality of this time?

I have shared several resources for people to use that will help get them started, one being a development plan and the other being a talent calendar.  Here is the page containing all of these resources.

The last thing that has helped over 150 leaders evaluate where they are today is the Talent Scorecard.  Here is a link, it is free, and it will help at least measure your key habits around talent management and set goals that will impact your people AND your business.


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