Why I sometimes buck KPI thinking.

Another link from Darren’s weekend read. The article is about the negative impact that KPIs can have on an organisation. I’ve seen this at other organisations in the technology industry where you can see the behaviour change when someone is given their new KPIs. In one case I know of an employee that exactly meets his KPIs each year but ultimately he doesn’t provide any value to the business because the KPIs are too narrowly defined. They are narrowly defined because they are fed into a quantitative measure.

As Readify grows we will come under increasing pressure to establish quantitative measures around individual performance. On the surface this sounds great, with quantitative measures it’ll be easy to identify those people who perform well, and those who need some more coaching. However, in the process we may lose some of the free thinking radicals which make the company smart. So you have to choose – do you want to know exactly when things are going down the tube – or – do you want to take the risk and come up with something truly inspired.

You can’t quantify or measure the rate of innovation because innovation will always challenge the systems that are doing the measuring.

My 2c.

P.S.: I talk about Readify a lot, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that Readify is unique in the kinds of challenges it faces as a business. What is important is how we react to these challenges once they are acknowledged.


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