Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A left-brained focus to life

I don't know if this is something new, or something I've just noticed... but there is a strategy, goal and key performance indicators for everything these days!

KPIs have been part of business for at least 100 years, along with the mantras "you can't manage what you can't measure".

But as I look at self-help literature and popular psychology, I realise that KPIs are becoming just as useful - and important - in personal and family life.

Take programmes like Supernanny, Demons to Darlings and The House of Tiny Tearaways. Parents are discovering what is, in essence, good management practice: set realistic, meaningful KPIs, measure them, and reward compliance consistently.

It's not rocket science. But it is science.

So why do we need this? Because we live in a pluralistic society, where truth is relative and instead of a unified ideal, you get to pick whichever ideal you prefer.

Trouble is, most people don't know where to start. People - all of us - are crying out for structure, for absolutes. Even those who argue against absolutism do so in absolute terms. We want - we need - rules, boundaries and common definitions.

What to do with that? I don't really know. I'm bucking the trend by not giving you 10 things you should do! :)


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