Performance Management’s Prime Directive

Twenty-five years and a few thousand client performance management projects have let us observe the evolution of organization strategy development and execution across multiple business cycles. This has provided us with a unique perspective on “what works and what doesn’t” in the realm of strategic and tactical planning, execution and performance management.

From that vantage point, we discovered a fundamental standard that has since unfailingly defined, and predicted, the extent to which human organizations succeed. It was, is, a profoundly powerful concept. We didn’t invent or innovate it, we observed and realized it during a client engagement in the early 1980′s.

Since then, we’ve seen similar organizations, implementing the same strategies, using the same processes, vendors and technologies, in exactly the same markets—each remarkably parallel enterprises in virtually all internal and external aspects—achieving diametrically opposite levels of success: one a market-crushing juggernaut, the other a market-crushed disaster. Why?   Read more


Generally Accepted Performance Management Principles?

Given that labor costs represent one of the most significant expense items for most enterprises, it should come as no surprise to anyone that “personnel”, “talent”, or “human resource” management is a major strategic and tactical priority.

Too many organizations, however, both in and outside of the commercial arena, take far too much for granted when it comes to the management of workforce performance. The facts are that when it comes to the workforce, most organizations implement broad-based yet highly fragmented and ineffective initiatives, or invest the minimum required by regulation and law, or both.

Since there are no “Generally Accepted Performance Management Principles”, each enterprise is left to its own devices to imagine, construct, implement, sustain, and evolve its own ‘unique’ approach. They do so with the participation of stakeholders, subject matter specialists, consultants, technologists and governments who have not agreed on any standards.

Sadly, that’s the world within which most workforce members perceive they live and work.  The fundamental consequence is the under-performance of most human enterprises.

Employee/Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is an approach that applies the same process, procedure and technology rigor, consistency, and universality to workforce performance as organizations now apply to Financial Resource Management; at least within an organization.   Read more

Absentee Leadership Dooms Performance

One of the biggest misconceptions business and organization leaders worldwide have regarding performance incentive/ recognition/ merit plans is summed up in statements too frequently heard: “if we implement this performance incentive plan it will (choose one or more): manage itself, solve most of our problems, achieve most of our goals, bring us success”. 

The reality is that it doesn’t work out that way.  In fact, it is a guaranteed disaster; it is just a matter of ‘when’. 

Under-managed and un-managed incentive/recognition/merit plans are one of the most notorious proving grounds for the “law of unintended consequences”.  Many of history’s most notable and legendary business and organization catastrophes have had their fundamental roots in under-management.  And, there have been more organizational failures as a consequence of absentee leadership and senior management than virtually all other factors.    Read more

Performance Management is a Verb

What IS Performance Management?

It is not a software program or SaaS application that stores workforce performance appraisal results, competencies, and work histories.

It is not Business Intelligence, Analytics or Data Administration software or processes. 

It is also not administration, record-keeping, file management, or accounting about results.

We all tend to understand what we mean by “performance”, the work of getting something done.  The problem seems to be that some in the strategy, consulting, and software realms have inaccurately defined what “management” means.  Read more

Strategic Convergence:

Workforce, Customer & Channel Performance Management

What goes around, comes around. Once again, in an evolving post-downturn business climate, different relationship and performance expectations begin to re-emerge: “new” to some, “back to the future” for others.

Across every sector, the one-dimensional focus on workforce Sales Performance Management (SPM) is again beginning to reveal…  Read more