8 characteristics of successful leading indicators revealed: Campbell Institute

The Campbell Institute in Chicago has launched a new white paper that provides a definition of leading indicators, developed by a panel of EHS experts.
The report found the leading indicators must be:

• actionable
• achievable
• meaningful
• transparent
• easy to communicate
• valid
• useful
• timely.

The report, Transforming EHS Performance Measurement Through Leading Indicators, was presented at the 2013 National Safety Council’s Congress & Expo in Chicago.

It also suggests multiple ways in which leading indicators can be categorized and identifies several key enablers of successful leading indicator implementation and use, including:

• executive buy-in on (not technical knowledge of) leading indicators
• roll-up and use of leading indicators at the corporate level
• communication and understanding of the predictive value of leading indicators by EHS and corporate leadership
• targeted leading indicator data collection used to analyze specific measurable actions rather than collected prior to development of response actions.

The paper also identifies several common barriers to successful leading indicator implementation and use, including:

• inability to develop consistently actionable leading indicators
• lack of reliable, consistent relationship between leading and lagging indicator performance
• sporadic, infrequent and non-standardized benchmarking
• continuing C-suite reliance on traditional lagging indicators.