Ever glance in the cockpit of a 747 as you boarded the plane for a trip?  If you are like me, you probably were astonished at the number of dials, lights and instruments.  Turning down the aisle, you shake your head with the seeming complexity of it all.

The science behind flight is complex. In truth, however, pilots use six primary dials to make sure their plane stays on course and remains airborne.  They use the six dials as a dashboard to provide insight into critical forensic information. Providing one of  their key dials suggests a problem, the pilot then gains greater insights by digging deeper into an associated dial. This dashboard is essential in focusing on the most important performance indicators.

Running a business is in many ways equal to or more challenging than keeping a plane airborne.   The speed and quantity of information presented to workers daily in today’s technology-rich world is mind numbing.  This presents real challenges as organizations, and its workers attempt to maintain focus on the highest gain activity. Business owners need to measure and monitor several key “business dials” that highlight the health of their business.  These dials are key performance metrics, which, when combined create your business dashboard.  This business dashboard generally consists of 5 or 6 dials which provides real time insight into the health of your business.

If you expect a result you better inspect that which drives the result; A key performance indicator or KPI  identifies the smallest discernible and measurable action that leads to a successful outcome and is the most effective predictor of future results. A KPI could range from # phone calls a salesperson makes weekly, the absolute size and trends of a sales funnel, the frequency with which a manager coaches their people or a net promoter score from customers.  Defining and holding people accountable to very clear KPI’s insures all levels of the organization are operating at full capacity and efficiency.  In reality most managers do not help people to focus on the highest gain activity.  The result: an inability to predict results, wasted time and an enormous opportunity cost. A long time ago, I heard FOCUS defined as the ability to say “no” to good opportunities.  Why? because there are BETTER opportunities

What business Dials are on your dashboard?  What about the associated dashboards of those departments within your organization?