The Law of Focus

The Law of Focus: Management, Measurement, and Value

Management, Measurement, and Value

There are many variations of the Law of Focus, but they all stem around a singleness of thought.  In Jeremiah 32:39 The LORD says, “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.”  It seems that God supports the idea of focus in order to achieve a desired outcome.  Six Sigma mixes the Law of Focus in with Pareto’s Law stating that 20% of a process causes 80% of the waste.  Six Sigma is about increasing efficiency, but I would like to introduce a Law of Focus that is based on three things: management, measurement, and value.

Management

Every manager managing a department worth his salt collects data of some sort.  This data is usually associated with a predetermined metric of some sort.  A metric is simply a measurement that can reliably compared to another measurement to allow for analysis.  Analysis is in of itself the act of comparing one metric to another.  The manager then uses these measurements to make decisions.  How many errors were there last month versus this month? Why? Production was higher this month than last month? Why? What happened? How can we do this again?

Measurement

The manager can only manage what he or she is measuring.  If you’ve ever had a boss that cracks down hard on dress code or attendance, he or she is probably not busy actually managing what Peter Drucker calls “social technology”.  They are not innovating, they are only keeping the status quot.  Innovating managers will look for differences in their analysis of the metrics, but they can only create an analysis if they have measurements to begin with.  What you are not measuring you are not managing. Period.

Value

The last leg of this three-legged stool is the glue that holds it all together.  For unless the manager cares about the measurement, he would not ask for it.  And by default, what he or she is not asking to be measured, they are saying that they do not value it.  Regardless or not if this is true, this is how your staff will perceive it.  Have you ever noticed that once a metric begins to be measured, that metric naturally begins to improve over time? This is because the manager is bestowing value on the measurement by asking for it.

Summary

Measurement changes things. What you care about you will focus on. What you focus on, you will measure. And because you are measuring it, it will improve. This is the Law of Focus.  I like the way Karl Moore put it, “Intention sets direction.” What you focus your intentions on will grow.  These are universal truths that can help you in your business, your life, or both.


More > If you liked this post, be sure and check out > 4 Steps from Wanting to Receiving…

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