My daughter and I go to the pool together for a swim a couple of times per week. She needs the physical exercise (as if I didn't!) and it’s fun to spend some time together where we can just hang-out.
When we go, we often meet a group of people and we play a much stripped down version of volleyball. Actually, we simply take a volleyball-size soft rubber ball, form a circle and tip it to each other. We are seldom able to make more than 5 or 6 touches without a miss.
Sometimes, the other people in the group are not there and my daughter and I will play at this just the two of us. Since she always likes a challenge, we have a habit of counting how many times we can pass the ball without dropping it. Our personal best is 32 consecutive hits!
The other day, we were playing with the group and I suggested that we keep track of how many consecutive hits we could do. After about 5 minutes, we were able to get to 23! This obviously lead to some pretty loud cheering.
This simple example is a perfect illustration of the following management axiom: "What gets measured, gets attention." As we started to keep track of our performance, and that the performance was a group target, we began playing together. As we became better, we tried less and less to fool the other players. The tracking and the cheering did the wonder.
This is a cool illustration of how keeping track of a common target can take a group of individuals to higher performances.
If you have similar experiences of how keeping track can add value to any aspect of our lives, feel free to share them.