Business copy: Introduction of new management tool

From a communication to managers about a new performance measurement tool:

A New Tool To Help Your Teams Keep Score -- and Win

My son's in the fifth grade and plays basketball in a town youth league. He started playing last year, and he's a lot better this year than last. Part of the reason is practice and experience. But there’s more to it than that.

Last year, the boys’ teams played for fun. They ran up and down the court passing, shooting, rebounding, fouling out and occasionally sinking the ball. But they didn’t keep score. At the end of the game, you’d hear boys ask their parents, “Who do you think won?” Parents usually answered with some variation of “it doesn’t matter.” We’d leave the gym hoping that the loose collection of gangly boys had at least enjoyed themselves and maybe picked up some pointers to improve their individual games.

This year it’s different. They keep score. The loose collection of gangly boys is morphing into a well-oiled machine. They're becoming a synchronous unit of moving parts with specific roles and functions. They know what a win is, and they know what part each boy plays in making it happen. Last year they were a group of kids out on a court at the same time. This year they're a team with a common purpose. They leverage the skills they've got between them and focus on putting that ball through the hoop. Whether it’s Adam or Jay or Nick who ultimately sinks the shot, they shout “nice going” to each other and spread high-fives and backslaps all the way around.

One critical difference between a group and a team is that a team knows exactly what a win is. Whether it’s putting a climber on the summit of Everest, an astronaut on the moon, or an injured employee back to work, the team knows what constitutes success. Every member has a rock solid understanding of what the target is and what it takes to hit it. We’ll be refocusing on teamwork basics in the coming year. And nothing is more basic, nor more important, than keeping score. Are the teams you lead and influence winning or losing? Do you and they know why or why not?

You’ll soon see a tool, the 5 Critical Success Factors Scorecard, that will help your teams keep score. The Scorecard will focus your teams and clients on exactly what constitutes a win.

The 5 Critical Success Factors Scoreboard will gather and display the following information: