The Five Traps of Performance Measurement

by Andrew Likierman

In an episode of Frasier, the television sitcom that follows the fortunes of a Seattle-based psychoanalyst, the eponymous hero’s brother gloomily summarizes a task ahead: “Difficult and boring—my favorite combination.” If this is your reaction to the challenge of improving the measurement of your organization’s performance, you are not alone. In my experience, most senior executives find it an onerous if not threatening task. Thus they leave it to people who may not be natural judges of performance but are fluent in the language of spreadsheets. The inevitable result is a mass of numbers and comparisons that provide little insight into a company’s performance and may even lead to decisions ...

Get Harvard Business Review Guides Ultimate Boxed Set (16 Books) now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.