Thursday, March 4, 2010

Measuring Momentum

Momentum in sports is everything, the more you practice the better you play in the game. In school momentum is incredibly important, the more you study for that history test the more likely you are to remember the answers to the toughest questions on it. Momentum in business, big surprise, is just as important.

Running a company is as much about championing momentum as it is anything else. If you’re a small business, make sure to share your momentum building goals with everyone on your team. If you’re a big organization, delegate to managers and stakeholders to share the same momentum building messages you’ve shared with them for so long. Make sure those messages go to every other member of the organization.

Without someone creating measurable goals of success regularly in a business, and delivering consistent praise upon achieving them a company might as well shut the lights off for good. Business today is competitive, as so many scholars have already noted, but in the information age it’s less about being the bear and more the fox. Being clever, especially online works wonders. You no longer have to spend a fortune to have the momentum building tools the big guys use.

Try to understand how people relate to one and other, and, gasp, relate to you. Find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating a momentum building standard, and then pursue building it as fast as humanly possible. Whether it is a set of weekly goals, monthly goals, or simply a daily client satisfaction meter, anything that can show positive momentum is worth implementing.

Just as we feel warmer looking at a rising thermometer on a cold day, so do we feel more productive when we see the winds of progress lift the sails of our slowly rising vessel as it recovers from the recession.


Several months ago I became sick of not being able to illustrate to our team members how dramatically our daily sales reflected upon the health of our business. With no real way to share sensitive data such as our daily sales on regular basis via off the shelf web programs, I had one created.

One week later we were the proud owners of a website that updates our daily sales numbers in real time and translates them into an easy to follow line chart. All members of our home office have this chart on their desktops throughout the day, solidifying their ability to take part in the swings of our company momentum. When we miss a sales goal for the day we all share in the burden of making sure the next day it is reached. When we surpass our sales goal we all know it in real time, often causing for lighter moods around the office. Our future growth is not assured by this measure, but our understanding of it and full participation in it is.

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