maandag 13 maart 2017

To measure is to know, or is there more to it?

Or if you can’t measure it, does it really exist? 

In our need of control, and strive for perfection, we try to measure all the things we do. Of course it is easier and safer to judge the success of a program through measurement.

A sport team will under perform if they forget to focus on the fun of the game, the pleasure of the team, the social dynamics. These elements make the difference between success and failure. But how do we measure this social performance? Let me rephrase it, the challenge is not so much if it can be measured but the challenge is what we focus on. Do we balance our focus equally? Or do we tend to over focus on measurable results? And as a result, try to make everything measurable?

In scientific research we find more and more measurable atoms of social interaction. But by breaking it down into smaller measurable portions we lose sight of the synergy effect of all the atoms working together.

We tend to make ourselves dependant on quantifying the outcome and lose our intuition. It happens everywhere in society, in companies focussing on the shareholders results, in education focussing on number of graduates that define a successful institution or in sports the number of medals that define the budget for the next Olympics. But what about the process?

Even in coaching and training we try to make things measurable. Breaking it down and making it tangible for our clients, so we are able to sell it. Also as a coach we have to keep the right balance between quantification, the atoms of a project and the soft matter; the intuition, connection and the synergy effect of all the atoms working together, the process.

The challenge for me is not so much to make everything measurable but to resist doing it for the wrong reasons, under pressure of selling or success.

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