Saturday, April 2, 2011

Knowledge Manifest in Numbers

Business owners should continually improve the way they are using, analyzing, and presenting numbers that represent past, present, and future business performance. I have consistently found that the right information in the right hands at the right time in the right format empowers entrepreneurs to make the very best business decisions possible, maximizing chances for success.

I was recently re-reading How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of 'Intangibles' in Business and was reminded of how numbers can play a critical role into gaining knowledge about a problem, situation, or task at hand. The author, Douglas W. Hubbard, quotes Lord Kelvin in the very first chapter of the book:

“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind" (emphasis added).

Interesting how he feels that being able to express information in numbers constitutes knowledge where the lack of numbers in expression weakens or maybe even invalidates knowledge. Not only do I agree with this concept, but I also have seen how a knowledge based in numbers improves decision-making and vision.

Next time you want to express your knowledge on something, challenge yourself to express that knowledge in numbers and see if you are more persuasive and can have more impact.