September 25, 2016

Check in a box


Did you do it? Check.

Did you do it the way you were supposed to do it? Check.

Standards are good. They ensure safety, the recipe is followed, the room is cleaned, the x is y.

What gets measured gets managed and the check-box is the most basic measure.

Done? Check.

Thing is … when what gets managed gets measured, the measuring can become the thing. An end in itself.

And the world turns. Expectations evolve.

Standards can stay in place long after they’re obsolete, just because that’s the way we do things around here. (The knocker is polished, check, long after door is sealed.)

The check becomes a facsimile for paying attention.

We’re measuring it, so it must be right.

Thing is … what was measured yesterday … might be the wrong thing to manage today.

Skippy strategy: Check that the checking isn’t a check-box exercise.