Measurement and Reporting Drives Improvement

“If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.”
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure.”

businessman writing graph of measurement

As a leader, you’ve probably heard many variations on these quotes. They are, to some degree, correct. Measurement does make it easier to manage something and I suppose a physical existence can be identified by some form of measurement, in most cases. Still, these perspectives never sat right with me. Last weekend, it hit me:

“Measurement and Reporting Drive Improvement.”

Human beings share a natural desire to improve, grow and win. Numbers help us see a goal and our progress toward that goal more clearly. Therefore, if we measure something and report it, we drive improvement from our natural tendencies.

Sure, there will always be the lazy. There will also be those who say, numbers reported may be adequate for many. For example, if you have 95% and the mean is 50%, why bother? You bother, because the other numbers reported state your competitor achieved 85% and increases 5% each month.

So no, I don’t think measurement alone is really about management or proof of existence. Instead, I think it’s measurement, combined with reporting, that helps us improve.

Question: What do you think? Does measurement combined with reporting naturally drive improvement? Leave a comment here.


Picture of Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

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