Baseball is one of the most statistic-laden sports. Every position and player has dozens of “KPIs” or “OKRs” that define how well they, as individuals, play. Yet what defines winning or losing is not RBIs or batting averages, but ONE NUMBER — the number of runs on the scoreboard.
What one number tells you your organization is winning?
Most companies track so many metrics that they lose their meaning. Business units, departments, and even teams fixate on the numbers that they can affect (and are rewarded for achieving) — often to the detriment of the company’s success.
Choosing one number brings focus and perspective.
In baseball, the number is runs. You score more runs than your opponent, and you win. Very rarely do you hear a team’s manager or ownership complain about the lack of RBIs from a single player if the team is winning.
Why is that?
Because to win in baseball, you need alignment, just like you do in business. Management knows this, and they understand that each player and each statistic has a role in scoring runs and winning baseball games. However, if you’re not winning, those statistics tell you where the pitfalls are and where adjustments need to be made.
The same should be true in your business.
If you focus on changing too many small things without paying attention to their leverage to improve the one number that tells you you’re winning, you get lost.
So, what number tells you that your organization is winning?
Choosing your Most Important Number is like creating a roadmap for success.
To define your “Win,” you need to choose the right number to focus on. Doing so provides a goal for your team to achieve together.
Once you choose your number — for example, Net Profit, there are probably hundreds of things you could do to influence it. But there are 2-3 categories of work, or Drivers, that will profoundly move that number in the right direction if they are the focus of most of your organization’s efforts.
Leveraging your team’s limited time and resources in these categories will accelerate the achievement of your desired goal.
Maps are awesome guides. They show you where you are, where you want to go, and many different paths to travel to get you there.
But maps won’t get you to your destination. A driver does.
In other words, these “drivers” take you on the shortest, most direct route to your destination — the most significant improvement of your Most Important Number – or the greatest Net Profit in our example.
Doing the right work at the right time will lead to faster, more impactful success.
Whether you run a baseball team or a business, you know you need to give your team direction and focus. It’s essential, however, to make sure your team focuses on the right work at the right time.
Day in and day out, you all show up to work, and work “gets done.” But does the work you do have the greatest possible impact on the success of your business?
Even more, are you doing the right work, in the right order, at the right time?
We’ve all experienced projects where meaningful work was done just too late. Communication broke down, and project planning or production control didn’t get the information needed incurring delays — costly delays.
There are lots of GOOD things to do. Doing the RIGHT actions in order and at the appropriate time is the difference between wild success and expensive failure.
The right actions stem from the Drivers, the categories of work you leverage for the greatest positive impact on your scoreboard (your Most Important Number).
What’s your Most Important Number™️ (MIN)?
Download this helpful exercise and use the Mind Methodology™ to define your MIN.