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Can Good Measurement Help Fix the World’s (and Your Organization’s) Toughest Problems?

Posted January 28, 2013 3:59 PM by Mark Cutler

The Saturday, Jan. 26 Wall Street Journal, had a great essay by Bill Gates about the power of good measurement systems.  To me, there were two key aspects of Gates’ argument that “[y]ou can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal—in a feedback loop.”

First, he points out its importance to innovation.  Precise measurement instruments, Gates paraphrases William Rosen as saying, allow inventors to see if their incremental design changes led to improvements.  The lesson being: Without feedback from precise measurement, Mr. Rosen writes, invention is “doomed to be rare and erratic.”

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