Competition, Scoreboards, and Scorecards

Are you a sports fan?  Have you ever been part of a game where competition was very high, where emotions are running high and you can feel the palpable tension in the air? Maybe you were even more excited than the players and became one of those crazy fans sitting in the stands! Regardless of whether you were a player or a fan at this type of event, the word “scoreboard” should be familiar to you. Sometimes this termScore_points_small is used to “trash talk,” coming at a point in the game when a player on the losing team makes a great play or scores point, but not enough to put their team in the lead. Someone rooting for the losing team might say something about how great the play was, to which the fan or player for the opposing team might simply say “scoreboard.” What does it mean? It’s simple: While the losing team may have made one great play, it simply is not enough to take the lead in the game. The scoreboard is where the results of the performance are shown, indicating how well the team members are playing and whether they are actually accomplishing their goals. It is the tool that measures who is winning and, ultimately, who won!

Competition, Winning, and Business

Your company probably has its own corporate scoreboard, but do you know where it is? If not, ask around and see if you can find it. Company scoreboards will manifest themselves in how the company shows its stakeholders the business’ earnings. Businesses need to make a profit. Companies that don’t make a profit won’t stick around, so, making a profit is a focal point for all for profit organizations. What about at the individual level? Individual performance is also measured in this way, but rather than a scoreboard, some companies use and individual “score card.” A scorecard shows how and in what ways each individual is accountable for performance that increases the bottom line. Scorecards drive results and have a tremendous impact on the bottom line and help people become more engaged in competing for “wins” at both the personal and organizational level. Asking individual members of the organization to develop a scorecard to visibly show and track performance will inspire better performance across the company and make positive changes in the following ways:

1. Hold people accountable for what they do while at work and how they contribute to the bottom line profits.

2. Help individuals see that they earn a pay check for authentic achievement, not for mindless activity.

3. Help individuals understand how each person contributes in their role to the organization’s overall profitability.

Scorecards will drive bottom-line results and create bottom-line leadership as individual contributors think more deeply about their own unique areas of the business. Keeping score of their successes on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly) can help people feel more energetic at work and increase their interest in organizational success over the long term. In your next weekly meeting ask everyone this simple question: Did you win or lose this week? Followed this question with, “What were you responsible for in terms of helping our company grow and be more profitable?” Using scorecards, asking questions, and engaging the entire workforce is powerful stuff, critical to the organization’s performance.

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About the Author

Matt Fankhauser

Matt began his career with CMOE and is a Regional Vice President. Matt has experience in management, marketing, advertising, and sales. He has developed and delivered personnel performance reviews, been involved with hiring, interviewing, and training processes for different employment positions. He has participated in market research and conducted interviewing involved with the research. He has delivered keynote presentations at various association meetings for SHRM, ASTD and others. He has facilitated groups in training sessions involved with the skill development of Coaching, Leadership, Team Building, Facilitation, and Strategic Thinking. He has also been involved with the design and development of Executive Team Retreats, organizational case studies and training materials, as well as the translation of organizational training materials.