As soon as we measure something, we seek to improve the numbers.
Which is a worthwhile endeavor, if better numbers are the point of the exercise.
The other path is to focus on colors, not numbers. Instead of measuring, for example, how many people click on a link, we can measure how something you wrote or created delighted or challenged people... You can see the changes in emotion, or dignity improved or light shed.
The questions we ask change the thing we make. Organizations that do nothing but measure the numbers rarely create breakthroughs. Merely better numbers.
August 5, 2013 blog post
reprinted with permission