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This is about the moment, the Chief Executive realised that, what matters is how we think about performance management…

The Chief Executive was no longer paying attention…

As I talked to the management team, 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. Of course, I had no idea what she was thinking about.

I decided not to disturb those thoughts for the moment, but to let her ponder, while I continued to talk to the rest of the management team.  Talking about ways to manage their strategy and performance better.  After all, whatever she was thinking about looked important. I wanted to let her think through whatever it was she was thinking about.  I could always go over things with her again later.

After almost ten minutes, I noticed her head and and her attention was returning to the room.  She was nodding slowly to herself, as people do when they have resolved some deep rooted problem or had realised something important.

What was she thinking about?

As her eyes eventually returned to me, I stopped talking and said, “Sarah, you were clearly thinking deeply about something – may I ask, what was it?”

She replied:

“It was something you said three slides back.  You said:    ‘It is not simply what we do with performance management that matters. What matters is how we think about performance management…and what we believe about performance management.’.”

She continued,

“It was that that set me thinking.  Thinking about all the assumptions I make about how I manage this organisation.  How we manage this organisation…. …it made me realise that how we manage, is not necessarily aligned with what I believe about people, how I feel we should manage, what we are about as an organisation.”

It was one of those moments.

Moments when someone steps out of the problem they are in, to see the wider picture.  One of those moments when they start to question why things are done as they are today.  When they question the underlying beliefs, assumptions and ways of thinking.  A moment when things start to change.  They start to see a new, better, way of thinking and working.

I love it when things click with clients.  When they realise that things can be different and better.  When new options open up that unlock a situation.  When a new way forward appears.

Sarah had had one of those moments.

Are you also wrestling with the complexity of performance management

Sarah is a real Chief Executive (though I changed her name).  She faces real issues of Board members, her team, managers, stakeholders, regulators, strategy, planning, funding, costs, partners, customers, suppliers, delivery, finances, motivation, culture, teams and people.  All the things and more, that need managing in the organisation: that need attention; that need to work together and perform.

If like Sarah, you are you wrestling with the complexity of performance management in your organisations, let me assure you.  You are not alone.

How do we release the potential of our people?

Many Executives, like Sarah, want to release the potential in their organisations.  They wonder if the assumptions we make constrain what we do.  They recognise that the standard and accepted ways in which we manage performance today actually stifles people.

They are wondering whether what they believe, what they do, and what they want for the organisation, are aligned.  In our experience, there are plenty of people like you wresting with performance management.

Our performance management diagnostic

At the time Sarah had her moment of realisation, I was talking through a part of the performance management diagnostic we use to understand where performance management problems lie.  It helps to expose how we think about performance management and how that affects how we choose to manage our people.

Clients say our performance management diagnostic helps think through the wider performance landscape, provides ways to think about how they manage performance and offers alternative paths forward.

We like it because it helps us tackle the right problems for our clients, in the right way.

Performance Management Diagnostic

It matters how we think about performance management. If you are struggling with the complexity of performance management.  If you are concerned that your performance management approach is not working for you.  If your want to unlock the potential of your people. Then our performance management diagnostic can help.

To get a diagnosis of your performance management approach and systems, call us, or send us an email