Make Success Measurable!: A Mindbook-Workbook for Setting Goals and Taking Action


Make Success Measurable!: A Mindbook-Workbook for Setting Goals and Taking Action by Douglas K. Smith

Who Should Read This Book

  • Executives and managers in for profit, non-profit and governmental organizations 
  • Team leaders and change agents 
  • Anyone wanted to learn the keys to managing performance
  • Anyone wanted to understand how performance drives change
  • Anyone wanting to learn how to set goals that make a difference
  • Anyone seeking sustainable and ethical performance that integrates concerns for shareholders with concerns for customers and employees

Why You Should Read This Book

Make Success Measurable provides the tools, frameworks and disciplines to manage performance and change in a dynamic world. It captures the performance management philosophy Doug Smith has used to establish his unparalleled track record of successful performance and change, including:

  • Understanding the difference between outcome-based goals that matter versus activity-based goals that lead to nowhere
  • Getting beyond an ‘organization chart’ view of work to identifying where and why the work that matters to performance actually happens 
  • Making ‘alignment’ real through using both quantitative and qualitative approaches
  • Using a pragmatic and tested approach to letting performance drive change in order to avoid the trap of ‘change for the sake of change’
  • Learning the three pairs of management disciplines spelling the difference between success and failure 
  • Building a performance culture in your organization
  • Avoiding the trap of the so-called ‘balanced scorecard’ that is neither balanced nor pragmatically implementable

What You’ll Learn 

How to:

  • Set goals that are specificaggressive and achievable
  • Set goals that matter to customers who want speed, quality, and value at a fair price
  • Set goals that matter to shareholders and funders who want a return on their investment and funding dollars
  • Set goals that matter to you and other employees in terms of opportunities, rewards, skills and membership in an organization with strong values
  • Link the goals that matter to you and other employees to the goals that matter to customers and the goals that matter to shareholders and funders
  • Set non-financial as well as financial goals and link them together
  • Identify and use familiar and unfamiliar metrics that are relevant to today’s most pressing performance challenges
  • Understand and use outcome-based goals that support success, while avoiding activity-based goals that produce failure
  • Set and commit to goals that challenge your minds and your hearts
  • Use the concept of ‘working arenas’ to get beyond thinking only about ‘my job’
  • Use the concept of ‘working arenas’ to coordinate and align your goals with the goals of others throughout your organization
  • Convert new visions, strategies and directions into achievable outcome-based goals that can galvanize yourself and others in your organization
  • Choose when to use the team discipline to achieve your small group goals versus when to use the single leader discipline
  • Choose when to use the horizontal/process management discipline to achieve your goals versus when to use the vertical/functional management discipline
  • Choose when to use the discipline of behavior-driven change to drive organizational success versus when to rely on the decision-driven discipline
  • Build an outcomes-based performance management system to drive performance and personal development through your organization


From the Publisher
Make Success Measurable enables you to avoid activity-based goals that can go on indefinitely, and articulate aggressive outcome-based goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.” “This is a how-to book, emphasizing outcomes as opposed to actions in setting goals.” “Smith provides the what’s and why’s behind today’s performance challenges and shows how to convert them into measurable concrete achievements.” 

Leon Gorman, President, L.L. Bean, Inc.
“Doug Smith’s work on performance and measurement has been an invaluable management resource for us. We believe that if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Thanks to Doug, we can focus on the right measures to drive performance against today’s many new and different challenges throughout our enterprise.”

Charles Doran, Chairman, Cablevision Systems Corporation
“Make Success Measurable is a practical and powerful step-by-step guide to setting and achieving the goals we all need to accomplish in a constantly changing and challenging world.”

Steve Goldstein, former CEO, American Express Bank
“No one writes as clearly about today’s key management issues as Doug Smith. Whether you’re in a small e-Commerce start-up or a large, already established organization, the frameworks, tools, techniques, and exercises contained in this book are the only things you’ll need to manage the performance that matters to your customers, your people, and your shareholders.” 

Jenna Dorn, President, National Museum of Health
“Achieving results that matter – to donors and clients – is the true measure of success for any non-profit organization. This book provides a thoughtful and extremely practical guide for setting goals and effectively meeting them. It is an absolutely indispensable tool for leaders and a model for good managment.”

Robert Schaffer, High Impact Consulting
“Highly leveraged consulting? No one else I know has achieved this level.” reviewer: taglios, Newark, NJ USA
“Make Success Measurable! is definitely becoming the Bible at work. Very well written, and Smith’s ideas are well-supported. We’ve received positive feedback from clients, and we’ve expanded our client base because of this good word-of-mouth. I strongly recommend Make Success Measurable! It’s as good as Guerilla PR: Wired, which focuses on techniques to getting solid public relations coverage, especially nowadays.” reviewer
“Make Success Measurable tells you how to set business goals that matter for shareholders, customers, and employees. That is good advice, and it is backed up by “workbook” exercises that help you focus on what is really important. The “mindbook-workbook” format makes room for exercises that you can work on with your colleagues at the office. I found that the “mindbook” portion held my interest as an individual reader. I started getting REALLY interested about halfway through the book when Smith introduced the concept of “working arenas” – the different groupings of people (sometimes in multiple companies) that are necessary to achieve these goals. Smith explains that you need to shape your goals and methods to fit the appropriate working arena, rather than a pre-set corporate structure. If you work in a complex organization, you should read this book and apply its lessons.

“I would compare Make Success Measurable very favorably to the Kaplan and Norton book on The Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard tends to be vague and anecdotal on the subject of how to set measurable goals, and it is hard to finish. In contrast, Smith packs his book with original analysis and specific recommendations on topics like “Vertical versus Horizontal Management Disciplines” and “Injecting Creative and Personal Tension into Goals”. The Balanced Scorecard presents a four way cause and effect chain from employees through process improvements, customers, and shareholders. Make Success Measurable presents a three way performance cycle as including employees who provide value to customers who provide rewards to shareholders…who provide rewards to employees and so on. The “process” piece doesn’t appear in Smith’s analysis, because focusing on process measures doesn’t necessarily help anyone. In fact, it is a trap that can lead to meaningless work. Smith encourages us to focus on “outcomes” – measures that matter directly to employees, customers, and shareholders. This brings us quickly to reality and hopefully to consensus with our colleagues. Get real. Get this book.