Ultrarunning Parallels to Building a Business, Vol. III - Keep A Compelling Scorecard
This is the third post in a series written by our CFO, Huw Edwards. Huw is a “runner”, self-confessed running addict and finisher of numerous ultramarathons including the Leadville 100 mile footrace. In this series, he will explore the similarities between running an ultramarathon and building a business. You can review the first post “Focus on the Wildly Important Goal” here and the second post “Act on Lead Measures” here.
This series lays out my approach to achieving my running goals and how they parallel our formula for executing on our most important strategic priorities at Jungle Disk in the midst of doing everything and anything that represents “keeping the lights on” in our business. In the first two posts, I discussed the process of focusing on a single wildly important goal - in my running case, to ‘Finish the 2017 Leadville 100 Mile Trail Run on August 19th in under 24 Hours.’ - and how to act on lead measures.
To refresh your memory, I am referring to the formula laid out in “The 4 Disciplines of Execution”, which I was unknowingly following in my running endeavors and have now adopted at Jungle Disk to achieve our wildly important company goal for 2017.
Why Keep Score?
If you don’t know the score then how do you know if you are winning? This is the discipline of engagement. Capture and display the lead and lag measures and make sure these are updated regularly to ensure they are not lost in the whirlwind. A compelling scoreboard tells you where you are and where you should be. This information is essential to problem solving and decision making.
Four Questions To Ask Yourself
Ask these useful questions to determine if your scorecard is compelling:
- Is it simple?
- Can I see it easily?
- Does it show lead and lag measures?
- Can I tell at a glance if I’m winning?
Let’s dive straight in and look at my scorecard for running. In the last post, I showed a screenshot of my lead measures. Those are what I see when I track my lead measures (distance run; calories). The following is my scoreboard. I see of my lag measures every time I open the Training Peaks app on my phone. (which I do after every run!)
The first chart above is the lag measure of “fitness” representing a calculation based on the miles I run. I won’t go into the details of the algorithm here but suffice to say it is an output which improves as a result of focusing on the lead measure of “Weekly Running Miles.” The second chart shows my weight over time which is the lag measure related to “Track Food Intake via MyFitnessPal and Measure Calories Out > Calories In.”
Now let’s see if these pass the test?
Is it simple? Yes, by and large. Two charts representing the two lag measures related to my two lead measures.
Can I see it easily? Yes, it’s an app on my phone. After I finish every run, my watch automatically uploads my run details (time/distance/GPS track, etc.) to Training Peak and I get a notification on my phone to see the results. When I open the app, the chart on the left is the first thing I see.
Does it show lead and lag measures? Well, technically, this is only showing the lag measures. However, lead measures are clearly visible per the screenshots in the last post.
Can I tell at a glance if I’m winning? Yes! Up and to the right means that I’m winning and on track towards my wildly important goal.
Next Post: How to Create a Cadence of Accountability
In the next post, I’ll cover the fourth and final discipline: how to make it all stick by having a cadence of accountability. I’ve given a preview of this in my description above as it happens - bonus points if you can spot it. Stay tuned!