Today’s post is by one of our esteemed consultants (and fellow Peloton fan), Andrew Krebs-Smith. 

If you’ve never thought of your bike as a business tool, you might change your mind after reading this piece. 

Have questions about your company scorecard? We can help.

Background for non-riders:

During a ride, the Peloton dashboard shows two INPUT numbers (cadence and resistance) and one OUTPUT number (watts). The instructor continually updates the ranges for your INPUT numbers, which determine how hard you work. 

Peloton Rider

(see the small horizontal yellow bars above cadence and resistance) 

At the end of the day, we all want outcomes—on our stationary bikes and in business. 
But the thing about outcomes is that setting a target for one doesn’t get you there. Unfortunately, creating outcomes isn’t directly under your control. If it was, life would be easy. You could tell your team the targets for revenue and profitability and they would happen! 
In the real world, things don’t play out quite that way.
As a leader, your job is to identify and point your team toward the key activities that should generate the outcomes you’re looking for. You provide the inputs. Identifying and tracking those inputs (as well as the resulting outputs) is exactly the purpose of a scorecard. It helps your team stay focused on the right activities. 
And when your team understands what they can control, and how that helps hit your company goals, they—and you—accomplish amazing things. 

The Peloton Scorecard

Peloton delivers a master class in the scorecard concept. During a ride, the instructor never says something like, “Use max energy for the next 30 seconds!” or “Get healthy in 3…2…1…go!” 

Why not focus on the output? Strength, health: these are the outcomes we want. But those outcomes are more complex things; they are multivariate. That makes them harder to achieve. However, if the instructor simplifies things, instructing you to “Keep your cadence between 100-110 and resistance between 36-46,” you will hit a high output, expend more energy, and get the outcome you want. 

Before Peloton, many cycling programs used inputs like speed or miles ridden. In retrospect, those numbers seem silly and overly complex. Cadence and resistance are so simple, and you can control them directly. 

Peloton identifies the key input/activity drivers of success and focuses on them exclusively. They’ve built an engaging, exciting experience that drives you to perform your best. It’s engaging because you have control over your own destiny. You perform your best because your scores are public—your fellow riders can see them. 

Judging by Peloton’s popularity, I’m not an outlier in my enthusiasm. These motivating factors resonate with large segments of the population.

Why would your employees want anything different? A great scorecard leverages the same concepts:

• Focusing on the input activities that are in your team’s control

• Emphasizing social accountability and ownership of performance

• Celebrating the wins together

If your weekly team meetings don’t drive the company toward its desired outcomes, try setting up or revisiting your scorecard. Think about the key inputs that produce those outcomes and how they can be measured on a weekly basis. Better yet—hop on a bike and think about it while you ride! 
Best case scenario, it will be a game changer for your team. Worst case scenario, you will get a great workout!