Let’s take a moment to make a simple but important distinction between tasks and outcomes. In the old industrial economy, people went to work and performed a job based on a job description. They could go to work with a list of tasks in mind, tick them off, and clock out at the end of the day. If they accomplished the tasks that fell within their area of responsibility, they got paid and continued to have a job the next day. Many jobs are still defined that way today.
Yet, in our post-industrialized, global economy, clinging to task-based thinking is at best inefficient and, at worst, a significant disadvantage. This is because task-based thinking and getting stuck in the day-to-day grind of your business are closely related; they both keep you from taking advantage of the exponential growth potential that a connected world full of technological wonders and automated systems presents us with.
At MyOutDesk, we don’t suggest you hire VPs to perform tasks. Instead, we suggest you hire people who will meet your outcomes. Tasks are activities or objectives with no measurable end goals; all required to turn a task into a desired outcome is some reflection and clarity.
Define Your Desired Outcomes
Every business should spend time developing outcomes that include metric signaling when the outcome has been achieved. The activities of your virtual professionals and your employees at home should always be tied to the core business outcomes. There are only five core outcomes that you should hire talent for:
- Enhancing the customer experience
- Growing the business
- Lowering costs
- Increasing productivity
- Improving quality
Once you arrive at an outcome, we apply a handy formula to help you conceptualize it as having been accomplished. There are four aspects to this formula.
- Direction: Are you increasing or decreasing the matrix?
- The object of control: What facet of your business will you be measuring?
- Unit of measurement: Will you measure change by percentages, raw numbers, or another measure?
- Contextual clarifier: What is the condition under which the measure is relevant?