Chasing metrics that matter: Three steps to tracking with intention

We’re all chasing something.

Every time I talk to the leader of an organization, it becomes more and more clear. They’ve got story after story about the impact they’re making. Make no mistake, stories are powerful. They’ve probably even got a stat or two. Typically, it’s a revenue number or a donation number. But the details? That’s the fuzzy part.

We know we owe it to our organizations, and we owe it to ourselves, to track the KPIs and metrics with diligence. But in keeping things running from day to day, quantifying falls off the to-do list. It’s easier to gather the heartwarming stories of impact . . . but measuring real impact and results is more difficult and sometimes forgotten.

Managing growth takes intentional grading. So how do we chase metrics on purpose? How can we make numbers no longer a chore, but instead embed KPIs into our culture? Three steps to chasing metrics that matter:

Measure what matters

1.) Who’s it for?

Defining metrics doesn’t begin with spreadsheets or calculations. In fact, it begins in the very opposite arena — not with numbers, but with people. Who are you serving? Understanding your Ideal AdvocatesTM  — some might call them clients, stakeholders or customers — is central to growing your organization. These are the best ones, the ones who give you more energy than they take, not just those who pay you the most money.

Tie your metrics to your people, and you’re far more likely to track them with diligence. And especially if you’re committed to running your organization as a real partner, not a vendor, this cannot be underestimated. With your Ideal Advocates front and center, getting to the right metric is startlingly simple.

2.) Build in external accountability.

Measuring all by yourself, month after month, gets lonely. If you’re committed to the chase, then you’re gonna need a running partner. Here at Fervor, I’m thankful to have some dedicated coaches, consultants and advisors who make sure my team and I are staying on target.

The right accountability holds your feet to the fire and keeps you tracking the right metrics. Good friends ask how business is going. Great advisors ask how business is going, then ask you how you know and if the numbers back up the story.

3.) Include the team in visibility.

Every month, as part of being my own client, I open the hood and let my team in on the numbers. Good, bad, ugly and everything in between. Sounds scary, right? Maybe at first. But at Fervor, we’ve found it empowering. My team sees how their individual efforts align with our holistic goals. Everything they do, down to completing tasks in our project management system, contributes to the bigger picture in our metrics.

Being transparent with Fervor’s metrics has fostered a culture of responsibility because these are no longer just my own KPIs. My team is equally invested in keeping track of these metrics, and this visibility feeds engagement. When stats are down, we rally together to climb back up. And there’s nothing sweeter than celebrating a victory together.

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