Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Baristas Must Make Cheesecake: The Things We Measure


A successful barista makes cheesecake. Every BMW mechanic paints one watercolor painting per day. Circus clowns must have a Masters degree in clowning.

There are times when we measure the wrong things because we set up rules and regulations, adding rules to the regulations and regulations to the rules.

Measurements get skewed. Organizations end up in a place of measuring absurdity.

But how is a barista measured? How is a mechanic measured? How is a circus clown measured?

Every job has basic things to know and basic things to do. Could we distill the many things to one thing?

A barista needs to know the building blocks of drinks. She must also know the skill of steaming milk. Measure that.

A mechanic should have the ability to problem solve and the skill of taking things apart and putting them back together again. Measure that.

Clowns need to have a sense of humor and compassion, and at least one secondary skill set (like balloon animals). Measure that.

(I actually have no idea what the requirements are for clowns and mechanics)

Even the most complex work can be reduced to a basic set of skills and knowledge to be mastered and executed well.

Sometimes we need to change our definitions of success by measuring the right things.

What do you measure? What should you measure? What is the one thing you do every day that you must execute with perfection?

Get good at that.