In surfing across the Olympics coverage, I happened upon the final rounds of the gold medal team archery competition between Italy and USA. It was the first time I had ever watched and it was breathtaking.
Each team shoots 30 arrows at a target, with 10 points for the bullseye, and 9, 8, 7, etc. being scored for the further rings(each just 2.4” in width). The archers stand 70 meters away—that is 230 feet away. The arrow’s shaft is perhaps ¼” in width. An arrow touching a line between the rings scores the inner value.
The gold medal came down to the final arrow from Italy—a 10 would win, 9 would tie, and 8 would lose. The arrow’s shaft was in the 9 ring, but it did touch the outer edge of the bullseye—and was scored a 10.
We often refer to football as a game of inches; same as soccer. Gotta tell you—archery wins—victory by 1/16th of an inch over a distance of 230 feet! But what made the competition so incredibly exciting is that you immediately knew how the rules were applied, and how victory, or defeat, would be measured.
In business online, companies continue to invest millions in fancier websites and interactive pages and services. But they fail to make the additional investment in having in place the controls for measuring how well those features produce results that convert into success. More and more, the difference between success or failure is measured in smaller and smaller increments.
What are the measures of your success? Can you measure them with enough precision to know you are winning? Or, as is often the case, are you shooting for the target without any sense of knowing whether you hit the bullseye?
My trust prism is really cool to use; when you start asking questions like the ones above, you discover how important it is to build in the ability to measure success.