Success Needs Vision - Vision Needs Metrics

Success in its simplest form is reaching your desired outcome, and there’s another factor that plays a huge role in your ability to reach that outcome – vision. You must be able to look forward to envision where you want to go, and in order to get there, you must be able to see where you are at any point along the way. While you can point to any location on a map as your desired destination, you must first know where you are before you take a single step. A map, or a GPS device, is useless without a solid starting point.

Motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said, “If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” Plenty of other coaches and psychologists concur with that thinking. Successful athletes are taught the process of visualization and spend hours thinking about what winning actually looks like. They ‘see’ themselves winning; ‘see’ themselves reaching their goal. Want to improve your golf score? Start visualizing the ball dropping into the cup more often. Want to improve your plant efficiency? Start visualizing what efficiency looks like – equipment and workers moving at peak performance.

Granted, simply be envisioning efficiency won’t “make it so” because there are plenty of other variables, many outside of your control, at work. However, one of the beauties of production efficiency is that it’s completely a numbers game. There is no subjectivity. The numbers are the numbers; the score’s the score. That’s where the importance of metrics comes into play. If one of your goals is greater throughput, it can be measured with a hard number. Shoot for 100 widgets per hour when your current performance is 90. That number is easy to envision on a report. Success is black and white. Encourage your staff to do the same.

While you continue to envision the number you want to reach, whether it’s an increase in throughput or a decrease in cycle time, remember that you also have to continue to monitor progress toward your goal. As with any goal, specificity and measurability are critical. If you don’t know precisely where you want to go and how many miles remain until you reach your destination, it truly is so much wheel spinning. It’s a waste of time and energy, and if you’re like most, you have no time or energy to waste.

Where are you in relation to your desired destination? Once again, metrics are the answer. You’ve envisioned your destination and what you want to attain and you can ‘see’ yourself getting there. Now it’s time to track your progress. Your measurements provide the exact viewpoint on where you are at every given moment whether you check hourly, daily or weekly. With that information, you’re poised to make navigational corrections as soon as they’re needed. (See Staying on Course with Key Metrics for an in-depth look at the importance of ongoing correction.)


Achieving success requires vision – envisioning where you want to go, ‘seeing’ yourself getting there and then seeing where you are in the process to determine your progress. Contact MPower to learn how we can help you improve your vision, so everything becomes crystal clear.