I spend a lot of time thinking about CEO productivity. It’s a vital topic to understand because the volume a CEO oversees can be overwhelming if not kept in check.
Dashboards are valuable for two reasons:
- They build the perspective CEOs require to bring about Optimal System Performance.
- The information that goes into a dashboard must be supplied by others and curated for your benefit. The heavy-lifting is done by others, thereby providing the CEO with crucial buffering.
Strangely, very few CEOs have a dashboard or something similar to it. Those that I have seen track only operational metrics and omit leadership metrics.
The operational accuracy is important but it has very little ability to move the needle on business performance. It’s more about downside risk protection.
To truly boost business performance, I recommend including the following measurements in your dashboard:
- Organizational energy levels.
- Tracking against business strategy.
- Cohesion across divisions/departments.
- Collaboration levels amongst the senior leadership team.
- Quality of customer relationships.
Your interpretation of this guidance will say a fair bit about your approach to CEOship. If you see your work as ‘craft’, a dashboard will be a no-brainer.
But if dashboarding feels laborious to you, there might well be some stuck, rutty behaviour patterns for you to look at.
‘Craft’ connotes a passion and zeal for sculpting your leadership offering into its best possible form. If your work doesn’t bring that feeling for you, you likely have all the opportunity you require to change it.
Dashboarding might well be a useful litmus test to gauge how ‘awake’ you are to your work mission.
It goes without saying that not being awake to your work mission – or not having a mission – will make for very hard going for the CEO position.