What Gets Measured Gets Managed
Unless you live under a rock, and have been for the past four years or so, you know who Tim Ferriss is. Tim is the author of the amazingly insightful and successful literary phenomenon known as The Four Hour Workweek. Recently, Tim has released yet another mindbending masterpiece that instantly shot to the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list and has set up camp there with no intention of moving anytime soon. That of course is his latest book, The Four Hour Body.
The book, among many things, talks about weight loss, weight gain, sexual prowess, athletic performance and many many other topics relating to changing your body for the better. One of the recurring themes in the book is the concept that what gets measured, gets managed. The premise is that simple awareness of a particular metric is enough to make change happen.
I picked up the book for a variety of reasons. But mainly because, like many people, I could stand to drop a few. At 6’3″ and closing in on 260 lbs, it was definitely time to do something different.
In the book, Tim details the story of a man who managed to lose a significant amount of weight just by stepping on the scale every day. No intense exercise regimen, no real changes in diet other than a few conscious tweaks here and there and over the course of six months, he dropped 28 pounds.
And it works. Having read through the weight loss chapters of the book, I find myself in a constant state of awareness when it comes to what I eat. It starts at the grocery store. One of the simpler concepts in the book has to do with the idea that reducing the amount of fatty foods consumed will lead to a reduction in body fat in and of itself. Being conscious of this, it has led to better choices – which have shown results.
So far, I tipped the scales at a solid 245 lbs at last weigh-in. 15 pounds in three months isn’t much to get excited about, but this has been the result of eating a little better, and the reduction of fat-promoting eating habits like frozen food, fast food, soda-pop and fruit juice.
This also applies to business. When trying to determine the ROI of a particular activity, consider the metrics by which that ROI is being measured. If employee productivity is being scrutinized, make your subordinates aware of what is being watched. If it is a particular traffic driving method you’re looking to improve, like PPC advertising for example, there are countless ways of analyzing the data to see what is working and where the weak spots are.
Today’s business world requires acute management of a variety of attributes in order to be successful. Simple awareness of the various analytics will allow you to successfully track what is working, and more importantly what is not working in order to make the necessary corrections on the fly.