Organizational Development in Only 22,366 Steps

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I’m a gadget guy and always have been. My house is filled with remote controls. Heck, I have a still camera, video camera, Flip Cam, camera phone, water proof camera for the beach, Go Pro camera for my surfboard and even a new “collar cam” for Buster the silky terrier. I wish I were making that up.

But the gadget I’m most enamored with right now is my Fitbit.

For those that don’t know it, a Fitbit is a little device that you put in your pocket that counts the steps you take, stairs you climb, etc., and syncs via Bluetooth with your phone. Essentially, it’s a 21st century pedometer.

But I’m addicted. I spent today in meetings all around Silicon Valley, and I have a habit of walking in between meetings. So I covered 22,366 steps today. Tomorrow, I’ll try to do the same or more. I’ve become quite aware of how many steps I do or don’t take in a given day.

The Fitbit is a cool tech toy, but it’s based on a simple, age old premise. What counts is what gets counted.

The Fitbit turns my activity—or lack thereof—into a simple, measurable metric. And as a result, it changes my behavior.

That’s what metrics do—they cause people to change behavior to meet them. And sometimes the simplest ones are best.

So that’s a great challenge to take away from fitness and apply to management. Are your organization’s goals simple and measurable? Can you be your organization’s Fitbit?

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