Metrics. KPIs. Goals. Analytics.
It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Very “business”.
And it’s safe.
No one ever criticized you for having too many metrics. “More data is better,” scream consultants and data scientists from the rooftops.
Anything with “data analysis” in the title is easy to push through budgeting. As if somehow having access to data automatically makes us more intelligent.
Plus, there’s a bit more of a subtle reason we love data. If we do the logical thing…if we follow what the data tells us to do…and everything blows up, we can’t get fired! How great is that!
When things don’t work out, it’s easy to say “But we optimized everything!” Everyone will understand that we just followed the data.
You sure did. You optimized yourself right out of business.
Optimization is no way to get massive improvements. It rarely works.
Optimization is good for little 0.01% increases. It’s not good for 10X improvements.
10X improvements require a reset. It requires something new – a new product, a new offer, a new angle, a new goal. It requires Tinkering. Creativity. Play.
But that’s hard. It’s hard because it might not work. It’s hard because if it doesn’t work, you have no cover. You can’t hide behind an excuse like “the data told me to.”
If it doesn’t work out, you’re on your own. And that’s a scary place to be. Most people don’t have the courage to do that.
So by all means, please continue to optimize. Please continue to squeeze your 0.01% improvement out of the effort. I applaud you. It takes commitment to work that hard for that small of gain.
But while you’re doing that, the world is moving on. Entrepreneurs, tinkers, creators are running circles around you. They’ll leave you in the dust. They’ll move forward.
This is the real reason most large companies eventually go out of business. They optimize instead of innovate.
And that’s not something most businesses can afford. You’ll optimize your way right out of business.