I was at a recent leadership summit and came across a great analogy I feel I must share.

The topic was value and how businesses lose sight of business value and focus on the wrong things. The analogy was made in respect to running machines in a gym. Three prospective gym managers are asked about their value.

One manager states that it’s their availability: that five are always in operation, 24/7, minimum one in maintenance, all pass quality and work safety checks and have just-in-time parts supply pre-contracted to meet service levels. (Sounds like an IT Manager’s interpretation of value).

One manager states it is bums on seats, ie numbers and on and off peak utilisation. (Sounds like a CFO’s interpretation of value). Sounds good but ignores the consumer goals and probably doesn’t differentiate your gym from any other!

The last says it can only be measured in terms of members meeting their fitness goals, ie how much weight did they lose, etc.

Now, which manager would you pick to grow your gym business?

So think about the outcome for the user, not the output of the process.

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