The Uncomfortable Lesson Your Fitbit Can Teach You About Your Business

The Uncomfortable Lesson Your Fitbit Can Teach You About Your Business

We would all like to believe that our people always set out do their best, and that the biggest sin in management is the dreaded ‘micromanaging.’

But the huge success of wearable fitness technologies in the past few years gives us ample reason to reconsider.

Think of your favorite wearable fitness tracker – Is it the Fitbit, or the Jawbone, Garmin, or maybe something from Nike or Reebok?

And if you don’t have one yet, don’t fret, there’s only 17 days until Christmas. But whichever one is your favorite, if you have one, you know what happens next…                  

You start to walk more.  A lot more.

You want to see your daily steps increase.

You want to see your stats go up so you challenge yourself.

You take the stairs when you used to take the elevator.

You want to see tangible proof that you’re getting healthier.

Now, think about this for a second, because you’re a smart person.

You didn’t need a wearable piece of technology to tell you that you should exercise more.  You already know you should exercise more.

But there’s something about wearing it, and having a tangible reminder on a frequent basis of exactly how well you’re doing, that makes you work harder.

Think of some of the classic business sayings that have the same message:

‘What gets measured, gets done.’

Or, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth measuring.”

Or, “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.”

Now ask yourself this:

If people as smart, talented, and motivated as the executives I see that need an external reminder – like a Fitbit –to improve their own health, then why do we shy away from doing something similar to improve the health of our companies?

Why do we shy away from something similar to improve the overall health of our business?

Why do we shy away from something that could drive greater sales and marketing results?

This isn’t about micromanaging. It’s all about the process.

For example, much of the work I do with clients often revolves around putting the right procedures into place and ensuring we have a way to continuously measure not just what we think needs to get done, but that it’s actually getting done.

All the processes, procedures, and tactics in the world don’t mean anything if you’re not willing to track and measure your efforts and results.

One of my retainer clients recently said to me lately that I feel a lot like a Fitbit to him (hence the motivation for this post). He said that when he knows we’ll be talking regularly, and I’ll be checking in on our agreed-upon measures of success, then he knows exactly what he needs to get done and works towards that end.

Other processes we’ve used with other clients like the Hierarchy of Horrors, or the 90-45 rule act in very much the same way.

The greatest results I’ve had with my own clients come from processes just like this. They used to walk 4000 steps a day and now they’re walking 8000 steps a day, but they’re trying to reach 10,000 steps a day.

Here’s the harsh realty. Your employees don’t care as much as you do. They’re not invested as much as you are. But that can change.

Today’s Key Challenge:

Define two or three specific areas of focus in your company, or your department, where you and your team could use better goals, oversight, and accountability.

Determine two metrics that you will track on a daily basis, and how you will measure them.

In effect, I want you to rethink the dusty old KPIs, and instead ask yourself ‘What actions can I track within my department that will have a huge impact on our success?’, and then start monitoring them on a daily basis.

You’ll be amazed at what happens.

Let me know what you learn.

As always, I’m here to help if you need it.