The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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Straightforward Reports

Keep it short and sweet

The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight – Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co


IN A NUTSHELL

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are to organizations, what performance reviews are to employees: They acknowledge the status quo and help track progress. Important as indicators, KPIs provide insight into aspects of the company, like profit and loss or product development. While they are a valuable tool to benchmark how the business is doing, they have moved far away from their original intent. In many organizations, KPIs have become a very long and complicated list that gets shared via email to many different stakeholders, often with little context.

More often than not, these emails don’t really get read or given the attention they deserve. At best, people tend to store them away with plans to get back later- but, that “later” never comes. Studies show that people are usually unable to process such large volumes of data and even so, they are better at processing data that’s visual. When an overdose of numbers gets sent their way, without the figures being tailored to each team’s context, it quickly becomes overwhelming for most people. Which is why the exercise of sharing data on the company’s KPIs devolves into futility.

Instead, by reducing all this data into short and visual reports, most information can be disseminated to the large majority of employees easily. By defining a few basic indicators, like profit and loss, employees can skim the headlines and obtain the relevant insights. For those who are interested in getting into the nitty-gritty details, further information can be made available.

 

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