Sunday, March 18, 2018

Metrics DRIVE Behavior: Case Study: My Poor Excuse for a Watch

OK, let me start by telling you that I am not 9 years old. In fact I have had the opportunity to live over 58 years (so far). I've been married to a great friend for 32 years, and have helped raise 3 children. I help run 2 businesses, teach a college class, and referee college football at the Division 1 level. The point of me telling you this is so you believe me when I tell you that I have retained most of my faculties.

So why, in God's name, do I find myself walking in circles around my house at 11:30 at night for 15 minutes or more like an extra from the "Walking Dead?

It is NOT because I need the exercise. I've been "working out" religiously for 35 years or more, and am in decent shape physically. Please sit while I fill you in on what drives this behavior, which is one way of putting it. 

My kids thought that I would like a Fitbit (actually the Garmin version) for my birthday a year ago. This contraption looks like a stylish watch that goes with any outfit. In reality, it is a hypnotic device that slowly takes over your life. I'd love to get my hands on the genius who came up with this thing. You see, the premise is that the thing yells at you during the day. "Move!" it will scream if I'm stationary for more than a few minutes. The thing has only known me for a few months, yet it has already decided my daily goal for steps, and according to this masochist, I need to go up at least 10 steps per day. To make things worse, if I hit my goal, the piece of plastic raises my goal the next day (where will it end?). When I hit my goal, the poor excuse for a watch (P.E.W) sings "Goal" and shows a party hat and some confetti flying. 

I'm on my feet all day. I do lean on my feet, where the work is. I hardly ever sit. The problem is I work out first thing every other morning, and hit my goal by mid-day. On days I don't jump rope or run, I usually find myself short of the celebration before bed. Hence, the "power walk" around the house. When the P.E.W. sings goal, I go to bed. As I started asking around, nearly everyone I talked to who owns one of these contraptions told me they do the exact same thing!! Geez.

The next time someone tells you that a well thought-out set of dashboard metrics will drive behavior in your business and you shrug your shoulders in doubt, please let me send you my P.E.W. for a month to convince you. 

Metrics drive behavior. It's just human nature!


  1. I need to learn how to recharge mine..... it’s dead oh well

  2. Thanks Bill. I learn from you everyday. Chris Ulbrich. Aka steelguy

    1. Same here Chris! I've learned more in the past 5 years than in the first 52. When you figure out how to charge yours let me know how you did it. Hopefully see you soon!!