What types of metrics should support a strategic plan’s implementation? During a large organization’s visioning initiative, the chief executive demanded a new monitoring approach with stronger and sharper metrics to link implementation to results and allocate future resources. Selecting the best approach was easy for us. Brainzooming always recommends customizing whole-brain metrics to tightly integrate a strategic plan’s implementation, impact, and returns.
What are whole-brain metrics? How can you introduce them to create the greatest advantage as you develop your organization or unit strategy?
The Whole-Brain Metrics Approach
We envisioned whole-brain metrics years ago as the way to easily transition strategic planning into a dashboard that guides implementation. Whole-brain metrics incorporate two dimensions:
- Factors that describe implementation progress numerically (quantitative metrics) and qualitatively (via anecdotes, stories, examples, images)
- Three performance-based measures (Implementation activities, early indicators that the plan is taking hold or isn’t, and business returns the strategy is expected to deliver)
Combining the quantitative and qualitative indicators across the three types of performance metrics leads to a dashboard with whole-brain metrics to guide developing and implementing a plan.
Whole Brain Metrics Link Planning and Implementation
In the client example above, Brainzooming facilitated the organization’s overall strategic vision and strategy. We created their initiative plans from online collaboration and survey input (which was very efficient and kept people out of extended strategy meetings). We also incorporated strategy work from a pre-existing internal team where metrics were hardly mentioned.
We developed the metrics dashboard by asking the following questions for each initiative:
- What vital activities will determine whether the organization is moving forward with the initiative?
- Where will the first signs surface that employees and external audiences are responding to strategies for delivering services and information in new ways?
- What business goals will ultimately demonstrate that the organization’s transformation is successful and generating impactful results?
Creating the metrics dashboard from answers to these questions was straightforward. Since this concept is rooted in strong integration with a strategic plan, the metrics practically jump off the plan's pages.
Another implementation advantage to this approach? Limiting your organization to the typical strategic plan metrics (revenue, profit, operational performance, net promoter score) can mean that it will take months to learn the full story on strategy implementation. In contrast, whole-brain metrics develop from the earliest stages of implementation; this provides the opportunity to focus on managing the strategy for success as implementation begins.