MONDAY, OCTOBER 12TH, 2009
My traveling to Wisconsin each week has given me plenty of windshield time and an opportunity to listen to a few of the books I have from audible that I’ve listened to previously. Marcus Buckingham’s book, The One Thing You Need to Know, is one that ties in closely to Aubrey Daniels’ Oops in that it discusses the difference between leadership and management.
Leaders Buckingham states are able to transform our fear of the unknown into confidence in the future. One way leaders do this is by developing measurements for success. His book offers the story of Sir David Ramsbotham who retired from the British Army at the rank of adjutant general and was appointed chief inspector of Her Majesty’s prisons.
At the time he was appointed the key metric for measuring success for Great Britain’s prisons was: number of escapees. David rejected that “core score” and decided that the main purpose should be to serve the prisoner. Sir David felt they should do something to the prisoner while he’s in prison so that when he is released back into society he is less likely to commit a crime again.
Of course not everyone agreed with his conclusion. Certainly keeping prisoners off the street was a logical choice, however David was convinced he was right and choose the one possible score they would measure the success of the prisons: number of repeat offenders.
It may seem obvious now that this is the best way to measure long term success of the prison system is this number. As Marcus Buckingham points out most keen insights appear obvious in hindsight.
Sir David turned the prison world upside down. While at the time of Buckingham’s book he had made significant improvements in the British prison systems, Buckingham’s purpose wasn’t to recount Sir David’s success or delve into the complexities of prison reform. Rather it was to remind us of the power of scores. “What gets measured gets managed” and “what gets inspected is respected” survive as truisms because they are manifestly true.
What’s your core score? What do your people know that you will inspect and thus respect it and perhaps even fear your response if they fail to meet it?
Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson is mentioned several times in the Marcus Buckingham’s The One Thing You Need to Know. You may be surprised at what his Core Score is. I’ll discuss that in my next blog and how it relates to Aubrey Daniels and Oops.
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