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Measuring Change Where it Matters

There's sooooo much talk about data and measurement in change that it can be confusing to know what's important and what we should pay attention to.

At Timbs and Co we will always prioritise conversation, connection and engagement over a survey but there's definitely a time and place for measurement.

Importantly, there's no single metric that will tell you if a change project is 'successful'. Success in one moment, has shifted the next and will be something else again soon as each organisation constantly changes around your change project.

So what we should be looking for to measure success and plan actions?

Think of your organisation and people in terms of change layers.

We want to make sure we are tracking metrics at the right layer so we can truly understand how successful our efforts have been.

What do we mean by layers?

For those of you who are old enough to have enjoyed the Shrek movies, organisations (ogres) are like onions. They'll make you cry. No wait, that's not right. They have layers.

And each layer moves at a different pace and demonstrates different behaviours.

So we need to make sure we don't let one single layer dictate how we understand the whole onion (or make us cry).

Let's talk layers

The layer most project teams get to see when they bring in a change is feelings/mood. It's the layer that's really visible and that is constantly changing as people scroll through a range of emotions all day long. There's work and home stuff in this layer, and it's the most ephemeral and least useful level when it comes to measurement.

Why? Someone who loves your project and change in the morning might hate it in the afternoon thanks to a change of mood. Great if you ran your survey in the morning, so sad if you offered it in the afternoon - or maybe not. Maybe the sad response is accurate? Who knows? And you've got no way to know or predict how this will happen each day. Not helpful for getting a real read on how the change is being experienced or what to do next.

Tracking a metric here would likely be highly volatile though I'm sure there would be use cases for wellbeing etc.

What about the other layers I hear you ask!!

Well here's a handy matrix to help you understand the other layers we use when working through relevant measures.

A screenshot the PDF document of Measuring Change Where it Matters

First we identify the layer where the change is desired - Individual Behaviour, Group Behaviour, Shared Thinking and the Business Position as well as Feeling/Mood. Maybe it's something in all layers!

Then we want to know more details about what it is you are trying to change in these areas so we can set up metrics specifically for the right layer. This means we are measuring change where it matters, not just for the sake of having a dashboard and some pretty numbers.

Importantly you don't want to be measuring Feelings when you are actually trying to change something like Group Behaviour.

For example, if I take a daily pulse of how people feel everyone morning and use that data to indicate that the group are successfully/not improving task management/decision making then I'm not asking the right questions at the right time and I likely won't create the right interventions to improve their adoption/engagement. Co-creation is probably a better choice for this layer.

What do you think? How do you identify the right metrics and actions for your change?

Keen to understand how you could plan metrics for your current project?

Why not jump on a Navigate Now session to get 75 mins of expert support today?

We've just opened up evening sessions to make it even more accessible for full time team members.

So now's your change to grab a spot!


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