Learnings In Strata On Being Watched

Number one son (18 years) has recently trialed new software for young drivers to track, measure and report driving practices to anyone who cares to log on. This includes parents who might withhold car registration and insurance money in return for the login details and password.

As incentive to turn on his cohort in this way, he has been promised a TV spot on the Today breakfast show which he believes will lead to shirtless walk-on roles in Home and Away. What more can a boy / man want?

Fame and good fortune apart, the trial period has been interesting for him and me. Luke is spending his gap year as a Manny (a male nanny). This requires him to drive his 7-year-old charge to and from school, violin tutoring, marshal arts etc. Luke has noticed two things since the slightly creepy tracking device has been installed in his teenage boom box on wheels with a motor.

The first is that said 7 year old shrieks with delight when the beeper goes off signaling bad driving behavior. Said 7 year old knows he needs tender to negotiate relief from eating broccoli in return for silence when asked about Luke’s driving by Mum.

The second thing Luke has noticed since being on the trial is that he is getting less beeps. This is something he is proud of and not just because the kid is running out of excuses not to eat his broccoli.

This is an application of the old but gold rule of business management – if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it. There is also something in this story about transparency and being accountable. In strata we need more benchmarks against which to measure the performance of management.

The market would benefit form a service that rated different development offerings available at any given time. A benchmark for levies in different categories of buildings would allow committees and managers to strive for best practice in a specific and measureable way.

We need less beeps in strata.

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