Leadership Tip: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard


The beginning of the year usually brings new goals. Our teams are excited for the opportunity to bring in new business and grow the company. However, after some time, that excitement can wear off. Especially if they haven’t seen or heard of the progress they’re making. One way to help your team stay motivated in the midst of the whirlwind is to keep a scoreboard.

A scoreboard is meant to show your team’s progress. You’ll be surprised at how differently a team plays when someone is keeping score.

The scoreboard should be simple, visible to the players, and immediately show if your team is winning or losing. This will encourage and reward good behavior.

The elements of a good scoreboard:

Simplicity: Think about the scoreboard in a football game. Usually, only six distinct pieces of data are displayed: score, time, quarter, down, distance, and time outs. Now think about how many pieces of data the coach is tracking—the list goes on forever! Coaches need this data to manage the game, but the scoreboard on the field shows only the data needed to play the game.

Visibility: Put the scoreboard somewhere everyone can see. Without a visible scoreboard, there is no visible progress towards the Wildly Important Goal. Visibility also drives accountability. Team members can see how their actions are having an impact when the scoreboard is displayed.

Communication: Does the scoreboard show lead and lag measures? It should show both. This really helps a scoreboard come to life. The lead measure is what the team can affect. The lag measure is what they want. Once the team sees that the lag measure is moving because of the efforts they have made on the leads, engagement improves. Your team wants to know they are having a direct impact on the results.

Winnability: The scoreboard has to tell you immediately if you are winning or losing. If the team can’t quickly determine if they are winning or losing by looking at the scoreboard, they can’t play to win.

If you’re not keeping score, you’re just practicing.


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