As I sat in my office snorting with laughter, my colleague kept telling me he was serious.  Susan, these things matter, he said.

The story starts with me interviewing a very young team candidate and commenting to my colleague that I think I have underwear older than that guy.  My colleague laughs and says that he would know since he writes the dates on his underwear.  Huh? He tells me he writes the date on his underwear labels with indelible ink.  And why, I ask? Well, so I will know how long I’ve had them, he says.  By this time I am nearly in hysterics as he pulls the tag out of the back of his jeans and shows me the date on his underwear. I am incredulous and “ lol” in a big way.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of graphs, spreadsheets, emails, metrics, to get so stuck in the fast lane on the information highway that there is a fine line between being in and out of control. 

Take a step back and determine what data, what information you need to spend your time collecting and analysing. Determine what you are measuring and why.  While it may be interesting to know when you bought your underwear, is it a factor in your performance or service levels? Does it give an accurate and explainable picture of well....... anything?

 You decide where your focus lies.