Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Innovation rule #6: Don't confuse measurement with wisdom

Many times have I heard the wise saying that “what gets measured gets done.” It is a wise saying. There is definitely truth in it. But it can also be a lazy and unintelligent way to avoid trying anything new.

Look, you already know how to measure what you’re doing today. Those testing methodologies have evolved over many years to the point where you feel comfortable relying on them. They didn’t just emerge out of thin air. In fact, wouldn’t you expect testing methodologies to follow the invention of the objects they are designed to test?

Novel initiatives are novel. There may not be a good way to test them yet because nobody has had a reason to develop the tests. What would you like to do? Continue doing the same things over and over again until you pass into oblivion, or occasionally wade into uncharted territory and evolve into a set of testing methodologies over time?

Some activities or phenomena are just easier to measure than others. If you aspire to be the expert at delivering the stuff that is easily measured, good luck. If you want to survive and thrive in a changing world, you’d better find a way to get comfortable doing something new.

So don’t take the easy way out. Sometimes you have to leap before you look.

No comments: