Key Performance Indicator Basics: Develop A “Play To Win” Mindset

Key performance indicators help you reach your goals and push you to excel in your industry. Before you can define meaningful key performance indicators, you need to develop a winning mentality and state what you want to accomplish.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the way you think about a goal or even the language you use to describe a goal can make an immense difference. Think about the positives of your business situation and frame your goals with a mindset focused on winning.

In A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin’s book “Playing to Win,” a business strategy can be distilled down to five simple questions.

1. What is winning?

If you are not playing to win, then you are wasting your time. You need to define what kinds of specific victories constitute a “win” for your company and strive after those.

2. Where am I going to play to win?

You can’t win over every industry or please everyone. Trying to be all things to all people is a recipe for failure. You have to strategically narrow the field to the geographies, demographics, and channels where your core competencies are most competitive. Develop a laser focus to optimize your time.

3. How am I going to win where I play?

Focus your message on the solutions that your product offers. If you have done your research and understand the business needs of your clients, you will know how your product offering benefits your client and the pains that it solves.

4. What are my core competencies that are going to enable me to win?

Capitalize on the specific talents, skills, and strengths that your company offers. For P&G, it was innovating quickly and understanding consumers.

5. What management systems and measures are going to help me execute?

Business strategies have to be measured and executed with key performance indicators. You need the tools and analytics to know where you fit in your industry and how to measure your success. Measuring the data and key performance indicators with the right systems is only the first step – you and your team will need to develop the skill and expertise of making key business decisions based on the data and results.

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