Blog Posts

Post Category: ‘Performance management’

Beware of sentences with the word “Just” in them

I am sure you have heard the advice.  It usually begins, “It is easy….” and continues…. You just run a bit faster to improve your marathon time You just go out and get some more clients, and sales will increase You just pull all your blogs together and you will have a book. You just train harder and you will …

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The six frogs and decision making

Here is a question for you: There are six frogs on a wall.  Two frogs decide to jump off.  How many frogs are now on the wall? OK, I’ll save you the embarrassment: there are six. Why? The two frogs only decided to jump off; they did not actually jump off. Sorry! First, the difference between deciding – and acting …

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Helpfully stolen accountability – a lesson in delegation, accountability and decision making control

Let me tell you the story of the curious case of missing financial control. In one organisation we worked with, the objective was to develop the autonomy and capability of various business units, located in separate properties around the country.   The company ran multiple properties, around the country, where each property was designed to be a profit-making profit centre. …

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Balanced Scorecards as steering wheels

As you browse the web or read articles you will come across various “Balanced Scorecards” that are represented as steering wheels or jigsaw puzzles or other symbolic pictures.  The most well known example of this is the Tesco Steering wheel (from around 20 years ago), though many others exist  (Just search Google for ‘Scorecard steering wheel images (google search – …

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Mind the gap: The perils of strategy mapping

Strategy maps are a very visual tool.  So sometimes small details catch someone’s eye.  However, the picture might be saying more than a thousand words if you are not careful. Is that small gap important? Earlier this year I was training a group of managers in the strategy mapping process.  They were to take on and develop the higher level …

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The KPI substitution heuristic – or why use a KPI in the first place?

I am still reading the excellent book, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and thinking (slowly) through the implications for how we manage strategy, people and performance in today’s organisations. To solve difficult questions, we often look for a simpler question to answer. The other day on a flight back from a client I was reading about how our …

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Methodology is not the same as method

I like to pay attention to our language, because how we speak gives us clues about how we think.  In this case how we are failing to think about a subject. There is one particular word, the use of which, really annoys me.  That word is: Methodology You hear methodology used a lot to describe a set of techniques, or …

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The Chief Executive and the Lightbulb: How we think about performance management

As I talked, I noticed that the Chief Executive was no longer listening.  She had gone into that state of deep thought, staring up and away into the distance; thinking intensely: thinking about something – I had no idea what. I decided not to disturb those thoughts for the moment, but to let her ponder, while I continued to talk …

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Passion is NOT a strategy!

OK, I will admit, I am completely fed up reading various web pages, listening to talks and hearing people say, they are “Passionate” about being whatever they are, or doing whatever they are doing. Let me be clear here: Passion is not a strategy! Passion is not a business model! Passion is not even a necessity for running a successful …

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Leading indicators: Ten different types for different situations

Leading and lagging indicators seem to create confusion for some people, yet with a clear understanding, it is easy to see explain how they work and help people think productively about how to create and use them. In this article I want to explain how different types of leading indicators are needed and will occur in different circumstances.  I will …

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