Say hello to the human way of measuring success

By Mark LeBusque. Published at Jun 25, 2020, in Features

“People seem to get used to anything, and it is a short step from adaptation to attachment.”
Lionel Shriver

Why is it that we humans become so attached to an object, process or even another human being?

I remember my brother’s rug. he called it 'bluey' and he was attached to it every minute of the day for the first four years of his life - until mum and dad left it behind in a hotel when on a family holiday. Even my now adult children as youngsters had strong attachments to their 'blankey': they would hold onto it tightly and rub the corner whilst sucking their thumbs and eventually peacefully falling into slumber.

They had become very used to the comfort and safety that came from a sense of certainty. It took time and many tantrums for them to adapt once it was time to move on from the “blankey” because their attachment was so strong to it. We even had to give them a small square of the original material to help them adapt to a new way.

What if we looked at our learnings from COVID in the same way and applied these to our future measures of business success? What if today's 'blueys' and 'blankeys' in the form of transactional KPIs that many have become attached to for comfort and safety sake, were adapted to include a new way of measuring success?

Whilst we may not see actual tears, I’m sure there would be some tantrums thrown by those who have become so used to weekly measures and the 'can’t measure can’t manage' ethos that they would feel threatened and unsafe in a more human world.

But wait, what if we kept a small square of the 'blankey' to assist in the adaptation process whilst introducing a whole new range of human measures of success? Imagine the power of bringing together the transactional measures we are used to with the recently discovered human measures that we can adapt to? Could a few new inputs combined with some useful old ones totally change the way your business was viewed by your employees, clients and shareholders?

Keep only those small squares of material that have served you well to monitor the financial health of the business and add in some human measures to motivate the humans in your business to understand the importance of both 'being' and 'doing' in creating sustainable success.

So, what are the adaptations we could make form of behaviours that have appeared that we could add to the legacy? The measures more related to how we choose to be or what I refer to as Humannovation. The human behaviours that have been demonstrated in times of a crisis. Here’s a list of them to consider:

● Building Deeper Human Connection

● Creating a Strong Sense of Belonging to Team or “Tribe”

● Giving and Receiving Thanks

● Giving and Receiving Help

● Showing Care

● Having Fun

● Practising Curiosity

● Developing Resilience

You see I’m a believer – as someone who has experimented with humanising success measures – that the act of 'being' creates more productive and efficient 'doing' in a workplace. We are after all human beings not human doings.

Being aware of the importance of being more deeply connected, thankful, helpful, curious, caring, resilient and joyful gives we humans a shot of oxytocin, and as a result of this research has proven that it helps to form trust between individuals, teams and across organisations.

These are the 'doing' measures to consider such as:

  • Face to face client visits
  • Projects delivered on time and budget
  • Performance Reviews
  • On Time Delivery of Product
  • Service Standards Met
  • Cost of Goods

These 'doing' activities when combined with a heightened awareness of 'being' or how we show up will improve as employees feel safe as they adapt to a new way of measuring success, reduce their attachment to their security blanket and ultimately become more engaged.

Now is a perfect time to adapt by discarding a lot of the old safety net transactional KPIs and combining them with a more human way of determining success. We have seen them working in the past three months so why go back to your security blanket – what are you scared of?

Will you put #beingbeforedoing and practice Humannovation?

Are you ready to leave your safety blanket behind and adapt to a more human way.

It’s not a scary as you might think?

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