Failure is Feedback

by Stacey Barr |

As a thought leader with a message that I desperately want to share with the world, reaching out to as many people as possible is critical to success. No point shouting from the rooftops “hey everyone, measure what matters!” because few people pay attention to rooftops, actually. I have to find other ways to reach out, but I’ve been failing…

One of my performance measures for tracking how well I’m reaching out to people with my measurement message is the number of weekly subscribers to the Measure Up newsletter.

See the downward shift that suddenly materialised around May 2013? Something like that doesn’t happen without an assignable cause.

Here’s part of the story of what that cause actually is:

You can see that around April 2013 a downward shift happened in Ezine Total Signup Rate, the percentage of new visitors who subscribe to Measure Up. It dropped from 6.3% to 3.6% almost overnight.

FAILURE! One of my most important performance measures has taken a nose dive!

At this point I could bury my head in the sand and ignore it, or I could make up all kinds of rationalisations about why people aren’t signing up for newsletters these days. Or I could blame myself for not being amazing enough.

Or I could look deeper to find out what happened around that time that could make the dips happen.

Turns out that this was when I changed the way I invite people to sign up for Measure Up. I took away the free e-book I used to offer (it was called “202 Tips for Performance Measurement”). And in its place I offered a new free video course (“The 10 Secrets to KPI Success”).

What would you conclude? That the video course wasn’t nearly as enticingly useful as the e-book? That’s what I concluded.

Failure has become FEEDBACK.

By the way, I plan to bring back a new and improved edition of “202 Tips for Performance Measurement” to replace the video course. It will be more aligned to my new book “Practical Performance Measurement”, more like a summary edition. So stay tuned.


Are you brave enough to share one of your performance measure failures, and what you learned from it, on the blog?

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