Our Guide to the Spring 2022 Issue

These summaries will help you navigate our spring 2022 lineup.

Reading Time: 7 min 


AI Can Change How You Measure — and How You Manage

David Kiron

Key Insight: Data-driven leaders are using machine learning tools to surface new key performance indicators.

Top Takeaways: More organizations are recognizing that benchmarking and executive expertise don’t always determine the best key performance indicators. These data-driven companies employ predictive analytics such as machine learning, along with leadership acumen, to identify and refine key strategic measures. More finely tuned measures lead to better alignment of behaviors with strategic objectives. Business leaders taking this approach are asking their teams: Do our metrics fully capture what drives value creation in our business? How can we use technology to improve our system of measurement — that is, how we create, assess, and use our metrics — to better discern these drivers and identify better KPIs? They are rethinking their approaches to measuring success, developing metrics, and building organizational alignment.

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The Quest for a Killer KPI

Omri Morgenshtern, Robert Rosenstein, and Peter L. Allen

Key Insight: Streamlined metrics can get people moving in the same direction and improve business performance.

Top Takeaways: The authors recount how Agoda, a subsidiary of the Booking Holdings online travel group, made its way to a single “KPI + constraint” that helps run a good bit of the business. The effort involved much experimentation, and the KPIs that were developed and tested along the way promoted both positive and counterproductive behaviors and outcomes. But the business found its guiding principles, implemented them, improved performance, and fostered learning and cooperation in the process. The authors advise that leaders define a primary metric or set of metrics that will gauge success at the outset of every project, and assign a KPI to every project. They also suggest looking for a KPI that is relevant across teams and then seeking to break that KPI repeatedly by asking, “How would it be possible to achieve this KPI but fail to meet business goals?”

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How the Wrong KPIs Doom Digital Transformation

Michael Schrage, Vansh Muttreja, and Anne Kwan

Key Insight: Successful digital transformations require leaders to frame performance targets around data-defined business objectives rather than technological capabilities.

Top Takeaways: Executives must begin digital transformation efforts by recognizing digital strategy not as an end but as a means to achieving measurably better business outcomes.


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