Presupposition # 11 – To measure, or not to measure: that is the question

The prevailing norm when it comes to improvements or when setting targets is that they have to be measurable. “If you can’t measure – you can’t improve” is a statement most managers or consultants express. A question that comes to one’s mind is; where’s the origin of this presupposition? Most people doesn’t reflect upon it or question the presupposition. Of course it’s valid but to think that it’ll be valid everywhere is where it tends to be dangerous and sometimes also very wrong. One example: at the moment a giant industry; the event industry (which in this case is a wider and larger expression for the MICE-industry and also include educations) tries to find ways to measure the ROI on events. Why?

All people knows that an experience can’t be objective and if you measure things that are immeasureable, what it’s worth? Of course you can measure experiences however the result of such measures you can’t rely on in reality since unconcious processes in the human brain at the moment can’t be measured. As you notice, the last sentence which is absurd, summarise the issue in a good way.

So the questions one might pose to oneself before deciding to measure things is: “What’s the intention behind the measurement, What shall I use the results for & Can the results be valid at all?”.  Another way of describing the issue is the Swedish pop group The Cardigans’ song title “For what it’s worth”. The lyrics is about relations but the title is very valid in this case!

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