I have a pretty evident agenda here that objectifying (and measuring in order to manage) the wrong things, or too narrow a slate of things, is counter-productive: Partly because objectifying or reifying the issue may be misguided in itself, and partly because “governance” is at least a two-way, if not more complex, system-behavioural game anyway, where turning measures into targets generally manifests predictably-unintended, unpredictably-undesirable consequences.
Here Part 1 and Part 2 of a paper by Ron Baker of VeraSage Institute (via LinkedIn). Not yet digested fully, but seems to cover some good ground – starting with counting as obsession and a reference to Saint-Exupery. Also the fact that Peter Drucker was definitely NOT the source of the “if you can’t measure, you can’t manage” maxim, if anything quoting it to make the opposite point – noted here before. (Interesting to see Lord Kelvin as the probable source – originally in a distinctly scientific knowledge context.) Part 2 starts with Milton Friedman’s opening gambit “How do you know?” – sound familiar? Useful reference resource.