I'm lifting this mini-book review straight from a particularly interesting post on GigaOm, and I was alerted to it by Sebastian Hassinger. The point is that if you are looking at how to measure morale and intangible assets, one way may be to look at how sports teams do it.
I am going to grab a copy of "Mathletics" just as soon as it materializes.
Mathletics, Sabermetrics and “Moneyball”
A story not as widely told is that of Wayne Winston and the Dallas Mavericks. A few years ago, Winston, a decision sciences professor from Indiana University, consulted the Mavericks on a new rating system aimed at measuring the impact a player has on the entire team. Points or assists don’t offer much information in and of themselves; what’s far more valuable information for a team is answering the question: “When player x is on the court, does our lead grow or shrink?”
From a 2003 New York Times article about the system:
Ignoring every traditional statistic for players, Sagarin and Winston have designed a ranking that is modeled on hockey’s plus-minus system, in which players receive credit for being in the game when their team does well. Whether they actually score points or grab rebounds does not matter.
”Did you make the pass before the assist? Did you tip a ball to someone who made a shot? Did you set a pick? Did you take a charge?” said Winston, a fast-talking former ”Jeopardy” champion who, like Sagarin, grew up outside New York City rooting for the Knicks of the late 1960’s and early 70’s.
”Nobody’s got a stat for these,” Winston said. ”Ninety percent of basketball is made up of things there aren’t stats for.”
Ninety percent of business and community work is made up of things there aren't stats for. "Profit," like the game score, is just the tip of the iceberg.