An email from the team at Google Maps landed in my inbox recently. I knew that it was a “robo-generated” email, and yet I got engaged. The title of the email grabbed my attention first – “Your review is making a difference”. As I looked at it further and digested fully the message, I realised that Google was using the 5 core principles of Success Tracking
So, here’s how:
This bit of the email shows that I have opted-in to receive the success tracking report (score)
And the main part of the email shows how Google are adhering to no prizes, a simple score, storified content and positive score keeping
This is a great example of how just relevant feedback, storified and positive, is driving my behaviour change.
Many organisations need a success tracking practice, they just don’t realise it yet.
As any Team Sky cyclist will tell you – it’s great to be able to rely on the Team Sky staff team and the array of coaches on everything from telemetrics to nutrition.
Think about having your own team of performance coaches at work – wouldn’t that be fabulous?
Well some organisations are already well on their way – PwC, the United Nations and others – have set up success tracking programs, initially targeted at social media success. Employees can sign up to the program and they get personalised tracking scores combined with peer networking and coaching advice to help them succeed at social media.
The success tracking approach is one that you can introduce into your own organisation, or as a consultant, you can provide as a service to your clients. All it needs is a blend of coaching and attention to numerical feedback.
are we putting on our target number of sports viewing events in the categories we’re focusing on – e.g. # major events per month
are our audience enjoying the experience. – e.g. can we count/estimate dwell time, whether they are repeat visiting
R = Reach
are people bringing friends? how many parties have we accepted each month? is overall footfall increasing?
M = Monetisation
is spend on food and drinks increasing? are people tweeting and sharing their experience online (this is a form of monetisation as they are effectively doing your advertising for you – “earned media”)
Importantly with any G.E.R.M. success tracking program – it is vital to focus only on the metrics of one phase at a time – there is no point in working on Reach if you don’t have Engagement.
At a recent meetup, I found one e-commerce entrepreneur making that very mistake, this time in a costly way. He was shelling out hundreds of pounds a day for Adwords without first ensuring that his conversion rate was sufficient to make it worth it. Without a good conversion rate (akin here to an engagement metric) on your sample cohort there is no point in growing your advertising spend to reach a larger group – you’ll just get the same dismal conversion rate but with a larger number of people.
There is a transition occurring from the old paradigm in which leadership resided in a person or role, to a new one in which leadership is a collective process that is spread throughout teams and networks of people.
Collective leadership is particularly suited to very large organisations that act more like business ecosystems than single entities.
In the technology and professional services world, collective leadership also makes sense. One person cannot be expert in everything.
Collective leadership entails distributing and allocating leadership power to wherever expertise, capability and motivation sit within organisations.
One of the key skills of a collective leader, someone usually without the necessary command and control clout, is to influence and persuade colleagues to act in a certain way and develop in a certain direction.
A key approach to achieve collective leadership is success tracking.
Success tracking entails helping people track their own journey to success, and at the same time influencing the definition of what success looks like – perfect for collective leaders.
One of the interesting aspects (and challenges) of collective leadership is that aspiring leaders using social media can be very influential in directing the organisation.
I’ve seen a junior partner launch a success tracking program at a top consulting firm which other partners have then signed up to. They are tracking their success according to the scoring rules set by the junior partner. Most interestingly, this unsanctioned success tracking program has had much much higher engagement than the original formal tracking and development program. Indeed it has now been brought into the fold as part of the formal social media success tracking offered to partners.
The challenge for those looking to develop organisation leaders is then to spot those who are already leading and support their development.
What better way to do this than to introduce the success tracking approach into your leadership development curriculum?