Yes, the title of this post is the question you must pose to yourself. As a leader, what do you measure in your organization – what is easy to measure or what really matters?

The large majority of measurements are made based on things that are visible. Not surprisingly, when we can physically see something it becomes easy to measure. It is very easy, for example, to measure the number of products that were shipped during the previous quarter. It is similarly easy to see how many customers came through the door, how much money they gave us, how many people turned up for work, how many components they manufactured or assembled, or how many patent applications they generated.

It is attractive to be able to tell a person that the train he is heading for has left the station.  It is indeed a tangible but that information is not of much use to him.

Tangible are always attractive; but it is the intangibles that matter.

Take an internal outcome like engagement: how engaged are your employees? A question that, having expressed it, almost any manager would be negligent if they said they wouldn’t like to know. Diligent management teams, knowing the importance of engagement, will then frequently hand the problem of measuring it over to the HR department, who will assemble some form of Likert-based ‘rate your level of engagement on this 1 to 9 scale’ questionnaire.

But will that really reveal the true nature of engagement – as it really exists? No. That seems an intangible.

We do not care for the intangible because we do not yet have the capability to measure the intangibles.

This lack of capability was a valid excuse till now but is not so any longer. Today, Pansensics ( provides us this capability

PanSensic capability derives from the technologies that come with the emerging ‘Big Data’ world born of the Internet and social media mass-communication phenomena and, increasingly, Cloud computing. Being able to ‘scrape’ enormous quantities of social media content is already coming to drive a lot of marketing activity. Alas, in true garbage-in-garbage-out fashion, if you don’t know how to scrape the data meaningfully, it simply remains as data. All noise and no signal. Signal – the only useful stuff – is about being able to read between the lines. PanSensics, in this sense, is quite literally the science of reading between lines in order to capture meaning.

One of the principle manifestations of the capability that PanSensic delivers to people within organisations – whether leader, manager, marketer or designer – is to be able to assemble a dashboard containing all the things that are important as opposed to the stuff that is merely easy to record. Take a second to think about all the things you’d really like to know about your organisation or your customers. Imagine all the things you’d love to be able to measure – all the outcome and meaning based stuff – and build it all into your own bespoke dashboard of intangibles and invisibles.

A useful dashboard should look like this-



Sensing the fuzz and structuring it to your benefit is what real leadership capability all about.

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