Many of you are familiar with my views on Measures,Targets and Rewards so you will understand my pleasure at discovering the work of John Seddon. Just take a look at this talk of his entitled Cultural change is free. Its almost one hour long but I would strongly recommend you watch it.
Targets and all other arbitrary measures make your system worse - always - you can't do the wrong thing right - there is not a good way to set a target.
There is a systemic relationship between purpose measures and method .... when you impose arbitrary measures into a system like targets you create a de factor purpose which is "meet the targets" and you constrain method. On the other hand when you derive your measures from the purpose of the service from the customers point of view and put those measures in the hands of the people doing the work you liberate method, innovation occurs.
Credit: John Seddon
Via: Ron Donaldoson on Why oh why do we still have target and additional comments from Johnnie Moore on the The care is rotten and the stars are good.
I so like John's criticism of targets and ISO 9000 which I have long found abhorrent that I have created a John Seddon page on my site.