Nike+, Toyota Prius and Healthcare IT

When Affinity’s new CEO arrived he immediately asked for more real-time data regarding financial performance. For a long time we have been satisfied with monthly reports, but like most large organizations we are moving toward real-time measures. Wal*Mart is the real-time enterprise leader.

In my personal life there are a couple of examples where real-time feedback and better performance metrics have had instantaneous impact on my behavior.

When I first got my Toyota Prius in 2005 I was glued to the display which provided me real-time feedback regarding how I drove my car effected my gas mileage. I no longer drove by the spedometer, instead I tried to maximize the use of my electric motor to stretch my gas mileage. This is a great example of how people will change their behavior when they have accurate, timely and meaningful information.

This Christmas I received a Nike+ from my wife. Once I put the sensor in my shoe, my iPod nano began to track my runs. Not only could I check my current pace while running, I could trend my runs on the well-designed Nike web site. Being a person that loves measures this has inspired me to run more. If you have a Nike+ let me know and I will invite you to a challenge. My user name is Caffeinated.

These personal life examples have made me think about what kind of impact I could have on my organizations by providing more meaningful, timely and accessible data.

2 thoughts on “Nike+, Toyota Prius and Healthcare IT

  1. As a fellow blogger, I can attest to one more place where near immediate feedback has been useful. Comments from my readers (such as this one now to you) tell me if a blog entry has resonated with my professional colleagues.

    Will, like your Nike+, I am giving you this near instant report: You’re spot on in your comparison of business metrics to those used for person, “self-coaching.” They both work wonders when delivered quickly and accurately.

    As long as we’re working toward achieving the right goals, shortened feedback loops can make the difference between friendly corrections / positive reinforcement and too-late-to-be-of-help criticisms.

  2. I just read a quote that struck me to the theme of measurement that you might find interesting…”most people hold very strong opinions based on very weak statistics” it seems as though in business and in life if we worked just as hard on designing our feedback mechanisms as we do with the actual software package, or speedometer as you described…We would get where we were running to much quicker.

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