on “soft stuff”, numbers, and the other part

I dropped by Seth Godin’s blog and found this entry to be very inspiring.

He makes a case for the “soft stuff” that sometimes get ignored in view of the “hard numbers” and “tangible deliverables” that fill up our working lives.

You know, those “soft stuff” that makes people go woozy and touch-feely… and happy and fulfilled and excited and motivated and encouraged and positive and feel superwomanly-supermanly,

Those “soft stuff” that can’t be entered in marketing and financial dashboards, balanced scorecards, and KPI matrices because they are, well, “soft stuff”.

Here’s the thing I learned after more than two decades of dealing with numbers — financial, marketing, sales, or otherwise —

Just because you cannot measure something doesn’t mean they are unimportant. Just because it cannot be summarized and captured by a single number — or even a matrix of numbers — does NOT mean it is unimportant and irrelevant.

Soft stuff, in themselves, are data. How we react to soft stuff are in themselves data.

It is the fault and limitation of the science and mathematics of data to not be able to fully capture these soft stuff in numbers.



One particular paragraph in Seth Godin’s entry that I loved is this —

Doing your job is not always the same as doing the work. The “soft stuff” might matter more than you think. Doing the work is the ticket you buy for the privilege of doing the other part.

In particular, the last sentence: “Doing the work is the ticket you buy for the privilege of doing the other part.”

And doing the other part is as important as — if not more important than — doing the work.


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