Achievement Gains and Gaps
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

When you consider how you are doing, are you evaluating both your achievement gains and gaps? There is a very big difference between them. And, you will need to evaluate both to be wildly successful.

A lot of individuals and organizations focus on their achievement gaps. They constantly talk about where they must go to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. We all know this is an important exercise. It keeps us moving forward to the future. It allows us to be competitive and successful. Without it we keep the status quo. Keeping the status quo is the beginning of the end. No individual, team, or organization can stand still today. The fast-paced world will just pass us by. We have all seen it. It is not pretty. At MACNY, we use our achievement gaps to identify our annual strategic initiatives and our individual learning objectives. This keeps us vibrant and relevant—and has for 106 years and counting!

However, if you only examine the gaps, you will miss some key ingredients for sustainable success. Achievement gains are important to consider as well. What is achievement gain? It is what has been accomplished so far. Within this review of our accomplishments, we can see what we are good at. We can also assess how far we have come. Both are important. What we are good at is usually what gives us our competitive advantage. Keeping our competitive advantages front and center in our work is critical. For instance, at MACNY, we are very good at providing our members with outstanding learning and network events. We offer over 300 each year! No other business organization anywhere can claim so many chances to grow and remain successful. Each year we review what we have achieved. We also celebrate it! It helps us remain at the top of our game by seeing what we do well. It also gives us confidence knowing that we can achieve the next change efforts we are undertaking.

Whether on an individual, team, or organization-wide level, we all must examine both our achievement gains and gaps. Do you do this regularly? How could you conduct an examination on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis? As a leader, how can you help your team examine its achievement gains and gaps? These questions can help you plan a strategy to stay at the top of your game. It can also help you feel confident in your ability to continue to excel despite what the world will throw at you next!

PS: In case you missed it, I was recently interviewed for Bartell Machinery’s podcast, “The Fourth Revolution.” I’m talking about how the skilled labor shortage is impacting manufacturing. Check it out here: