Have you got a North Star metric? It’s one of the essential things for any company looking to innovate and drive growth. If you haven’t created one yet, it is time to seriously figure it out. And today, I will be explaining what a North Star metric is, why it’s essential, and how to come up with one.
The North Star metric is the most critical. It is that Metric that would consistently deliver Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s) and drive sustainable growth if you focus on above all else.
For Facebook is ‘daily active users,’ Airbnb is ‘nights booked,’ and for the BP Group, ours is ‘monthly organization upskilling.’
Why is having one important?
Because delivering SCO’s and driving change is a lot of work, and it’s easy to dilute effort and resources on things that don’t move the needle. Additionally, getting distracted with the latest and shiniest new ideas is a common problem. Having a North Star metric keeps everyone in your company focused on the most critical Measure for your company’s success. Chosen wisely, it will connect the dots from the front line to the top team
Creating Your North Star metric
You may already have created it in your Successful Customer Outcome Canvas® (SCOC®). Even if you haven’t yet the steps are straightforward by examining your current key performance indicators and assessing what could be a lead Metric. Examine the metrics in the context of what creates the best outcome, for the business and the customer. It is especially effective when you aggregate the SCOC’s against all your customer categories and bringing out the most significant ones and deciding decide which is the most essential Metric.
Defining that North Star metric can have a considerable impact not only on your immediate customers but on how your company operates overall.
Your North Star metric will be different from other organizations, as is how it’s rolled out and communicated.
Connect the dots, Draw the Lines
Anyone involved in delivering Successful Customer Outcomes and driving growth for your company, from the ‘C’ suite to the marketing team to the operations team and all of your external agencies, should be clear on your North Star metric and their role in driving it forward. If you don’t have one and your success maybe isn’t where it needs to be, perhaps you should consider defining one for your organization.
- Set up a time with key stakeholders,
- Identify your customer categories,
- Agree on the SMART needs,
- Choose the most important one, then
- Brainstorm what it should be across the entire organization.
It starts with understanding who are your best customers are and why. You will need to cut through all distractions and noise to identify the one metric that will have the most significant and most sustainable impact on your business performance.
It’s a significant process, and sometimes it can be challenging to see the forest for the trees.
It will take a concerted effort, but it is one of the most worthwhile things an organization can do to connect the strategy to execution. Realistically isn’t that desirable for every organization seeking to make winning systematic?
The Guiding Light
The North Star metric becomes the guiding light. It is tangible, objective, and touches everyone and everything. It is a simple concept and as a result everyone can understand it.
You can explore the North Star Alignment approach within the Certified Outside-In Masters® program. Review the short video introduction here:
 The Successful Customer Outcome Canvas® is a technique within the CEMMethod®. This technique and its companion approach can be reviewed here. https://cemnext.com/customergame
Other Useful Resources
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