Keep a Compelling Scorecard

Have you been to sporting event where they didn’t keep score?  I recall going to an introductory league for soccer where they didn’t keep score. Yet my son still wanted to know if they won the game.  Most scoreboards have a few key pieces of information besides the score such as time remaining, timeouts, number of fouls, or balls and strikes.  Without a scoreboard many fans would become disinterested in the game.

Yet most businesses do not have a scoreboard for the employees to know if they are winning or losing.  If a scoreboard helps motivate players at a sporting event, wouldn’t a scoreboard for the employees help motivate them towards winning? 

Over the past few months I’ve discussed the book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution.  The first discipline is to set one wildly important goal (WIG) which helps narrow the focus. The second discipline is to focus on lead measures that give the team leverage to achieve the goal. The third discipline is to keep a compelling scoreboard.

According to the authors, an employee scoreboard is one that the employees should keep, not the manager or owner. The authors state, “When team members themselves are keeping score, they truly understand the connection between their performance and reaching their goal, and this changes the level at which they play. When everyone on the team can see the score, the level of play rises, not only because they can see what’s working and what adjustments are needed, but also because they now want to win.

The authors ask four questions to determine if a scoreboard is likely to be compelling:

                Is it simple?

                Can I see it easily?

                Does it show lead and lag measures?

                Can I tell at a glance if I’m winning?

A compelling scoreboard may need to show both team and individual results, depending upon the WIG and each person’s role on the team.  The scoreboard should help team members understand the WIG and focus on efforts that influence the goal.  As the authors state:  “One of the most demoralizing aspects of life in the whirlwind (busyness of day-to-day activities) is that you don’t feel you can win. They’re not playing to win; they’re playing not to lose.”  

Help your employees play to win be keeping a compelling scoreboard.

I am a contributing writer to the Evansville Business Journal. This article was recently published.