GAWK: The future of KPIs?

My first post on Adviser Lounge was a whimsical look at technology and how we, especially our kids, might not be using it properly. If you read it, thanks for taking the time.

Here, I want to position an odd little idea with you – my odd little idea. It’s the notion that the only KPI (key performance indicator) we need to drive our businesses forward is this one: Gorgeous Simplicity per Second, or GAWK for short 😉

Let me state upfront that my intention is to share an idea, not to tell you how to run your business – that’s not my bag. I like to read stuff that I can’t get just anywhere; I like to know what people think; what makes them tick. I’m going to assume you’re a bit like me – and share a bit of what I think.

So, if you’re still reading, let me explain my GAWK concept.

In my world GAWK applies to product, to service, and to proposition: everything online and off. I’ve already given away the components that comprise it, but allow me to elaborate:-

Gorgeous. What we make, do, or say – whatever that may be – these days it needs to be seductive. In the web world some call it UX which stands for User eXperience. But of course it applies offline too – we all have iPhones right?  If we wanted to talk in terms of customer journey this is the often irrational “I love it – I want it” bit. Gorgeous is what catalyses this reaction as far as I can see.

Simplicity. Whatever we make, do, or say, it needs to be obvious: quickly, if not instantly, understandable. In my opinion, the future’s bleak for things that do lots of stuff, while I think stuff that does one thing will flourish. Simple. Translated to customer journey it reads, “I get it” and leads to “I do (or do not) need it” – a decision. Better a potential customer who understands the product and decides it’s not for them, over one who never got as far as making that choice since they couldn’t get their head round it? Simple is where decisions get made. Anything else is obfuscation to the decision making process.

Per second. Every KPI needs a denominator and GAWKs is ‘attention time’. I won’t speculate on how long any of us get to persuade or influence – it’ll vary depending on scenario. But, whether it’s 5 seconds, 5 minutes or 5 hours it’s probably not as long as you’d like?

It’s certainly never as long as I’d like.

And it’s only going to get shorter in future I think. Why? Because our attention spans are getting shorter. Look around.

Noise in our daily lives is growing. Social media/networks, email and SMS, online. Work, family, TV, and changing social & cultural values, offline. Our eyeballs, in fact all of our senses are busy – very busy.

Against this landscape, cramming the finite influencing opportunity we’ve got with lots of ‘gorgeous’ whilst keeping a sharp eye on ‘simple’ seems like a very reasonable business strategy in my opinion.

Sadly though, the notion of ‘Gorgeous Simplicity per Second’ becoming a KPI and embedded in “management speak” is ridiculous. It’s impossible to measure any of it for one thing, but more importantly the acronym doesn’t work and needs explaining so it’ll never catch on.

But, measurable or not, sensible acronym or otherwise, why not keep ‘GAWK’ in mind next time you’re doing anything – I try to.

Whether brainstorming ideas, rationalising process, or working on an over-done powerpoint presentation. If we make sure it’s stuffed with GAWK I don’t think we can go that far wrong.

What do you think?

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