You have an earache and decide it's time to see the doctor. You call the office, sit on hold with a receptionist, and finally schedule an appointment – but not until five days later. As if waiting around for your appointment doesn't waste enough of your time, it's only the beginning of a tedious process – driving 20 minutes to the doctor's office, sitting in a crowded waiting room and filling out paperwork.
Measuring the performance of people, especially managers and senior executives, presents a perennial conundrum. Without quantifiable goals, it's difficult to measure progress objectively. At the same time, companies that rely too much on financial or other "hard" performance targets risk putting short-term success ahead of long-term health-for example, by tolerating flawed "stars" who drive top performance but intimidate others, ignore staff development, or fail to collaborate with colleagues.