The Behaviours We Need Metrics to Drive for Crisis Management

July 7, 2020 by Stacey Barr

In crisis management, we need to use metrics to drive the behaviours that support survival, and stop those that thwart it.

A hot air balloon trying to pull a large anchor. Credit: wildpixel

Simon Sinek, in his video on hitting targets versus making progress, rightly points out that the typical metrics leaders choose “end up promoting or bonusing toxicity in our organisations”. In crisis management, organisations cannot afford the consequences of the behaviours typical of toxic cultures:

  • Fighting with other teams over limited resources, rather than working together to solve the problem that affects us all.
  • Getting distracted by whatever jumps in front of us, rather than staying focused on the results that matter most (I keep thinking of the talking dog in the Disney movie “Up!”, and his squirrel distractions).
  • Fixating on trivial or traditional metrics and their targets, rather than deepening our understanding of making fundamental improvements in the metrics that will help us through the crisis.

The trouble with behaviours like these is that it makes it a constant push to make the changes that are needed to survive a crisis, let alone thrive beyond it. In that same video, Simon Sinek also points out that we need to use metrics in a way that “the value can sustain, without [us] pushing it”. And so we need to use metrics to drive behaviours like these:

  • We need more collaboration, less competition – just like how scientists around the world have been collaborating to find a cure for COVID-19, rather than competing to be the first.
  • We need more results-orientation, less box-ticking – in the same way that the VP of a Canadian federal agency led a funding initiative to respond to COVID-19 focused first on performance results to drive the right actions.
  • We need more focus on progress, less on hitting targets – when we build momentum with small improvements, we’re more likely to learn and grow our capability to ultimately reach the levels of performance we need or want.

Use performance measurement in a way that makes metrics a tool in people’s hands, so they can collaborate to diagnose and improve the results that matter through the crisis.

If your metrics drive people to compete, tick boxes, and hit targets, then those metrics will thwart your ability to survive the crisis.
[tweet this]

FacebooktwitterlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Upcoming KPI Training


    Our next PuMP Performance Measure Blueprint Workshops include:

    >> Canberra, Australia, 2-4 Sep 2020

    >> London, United Kingdom, 23-24 Sep 2020

    >> Canada, Online Interactive, 5-16 Oct 2020

    >> Sydney, Australia, 14-16 Oct 2020

    >> Vancouver, Canada, 21-23 Oct 2020

    >> London, United Kingdom, 2-3 Dec 2020

    Register for the next PuMP Blueprint Workshop near you

    Stacey's Books


    Prove It! How to Create a High-Performance Culture and Measurable Success, book by Stacey Barr

    Order Prove It! here.

    Practical Performance Measurement: Using the PuMP Blueprint For Fast, Easy, And Engaging KPIs, book by Stacey Barr

    Order Practical Performance Measurement here.

    Reprinting Articles


    You are welcome to use articles from the Measure Up blog, with these requirements

    Connect with Stacey


    Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Want more information? Fill out the form below and I’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.



    *We respect your email privacy.
    Level 54, 111 Eagle Street
    Brisbane, Qld, 4000
    Australia
    Stacey Barr Pty Ltd
    ACN: 129953635
    Director: Stacey Barr