I have always thought sheep dogs were intelligent. I didn’t realise, until recently, that they are smarter than me (well, at least one is). A while ago I was walking with a friend. Her sheep dog, a Border Collie called Harvey, was with us. After 10 miles or so Harvey seemed to be flagging. She stopped at a gate and refused to go any further. I decided to offer here a biscuit from my bag and that did the trick. At the next gate she seemed to be running out of steam again, so out came another biscuit. We didn’t even make it to the next gate before she stopped and refused to budge until being fed. I commented to Kate that Harvey seemed really tired. Kate looked at me with a “Are you stupid?” expression and said “No, Harvey has now trained you to give her a biscuit every time she stops!”.
It sounds obvious, looking back, but it links back to the old phrase “What gets rewarded gets done.”. Have you stopped to think what behaviours you are rewarding in your business through your performance measurement systems?