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MBWA stats for 2010

WordPress.com provides a wide variety of statistics that help you understand the health of your blog.  Like most metrics, the WP statistics are one part useful and one part entertainment.  To reinforce both of these attributes, earlier this month WP sent an email with their take on my blog.    I’ve borrowed from their email but sprinkled in…

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Quick Guide to Performance Management

After many years as a performance management enthusiast, I sometimes forget how much confusion there still is around the topic. Since I’m a big believer that standardized language helps reduce confusion, I’ve decided to summarize some of my deeply held beliefs on performance management: An objective describes what you want to accomplish. For example, ‘win…

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Smooth-sailing Fallacy

I’m intrigued by a short June 2009 McKinsey Quarterly article entitled “Management lessons from the financial crisis.” In it, UCLA business professor Richard Rumelt coins the term smooth-sailing fallacy: This smooth-sailing fallacy arises when we mistake a measure for reality. Competent management always looks deeper than the numbers, deeper than the current measures. Incompetent management just…

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Lawn Activities, Yard Outcomes

Performance management continuously invades my personal life, whether it’s on airplanes, during mentoring, or at Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s another example: Not long after I moved into my previous house, a friendly neighbor came over to welcome me to the block. Amid advice on local stores and restaurants, he pointed out that my front lawn wasn’t…

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What’s Missing from your Scorecard?

In a short, but insightful, piece called ‘What’s Missing from Your Scorecard?’ Mark Graham Brown suggests eight categories of metrics which should be better represented on a balanced scorecard: Customer aggravation External factors Employee satisfaction Brand image Customer attractiveness and relationships Communication effectiveness Employee health and safety Ethics Mark’s issue with employee satisfaction is most companies measure…

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Prioritizing What’s Important

Long-time readers know I recommend creating an alignment-focused organization as the fundamental way to improve performance. As I’ve said in many publications (BPM Magazine, Information Management, CxO magazine), To do so, organizations must motivate their employees with integrated and cascaded objectives, manage priorities based on impacts rather than perceived urgency, monitor progress towards outcomes, and…

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Speedlinking, May 2009

One part writer’s block and two parts schedule overload means I don’t have time to write an original post.  Speedlinking to the rescue: Over at ‘I Help You Blog’, Philip suggests 101 Great Posting Ideas That Will Make Your Blog Sizzle.  My personal favorite is #101:  Create a post with a 101 ideas. In a relatively…

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Wordle for MBWA, 2009 edition

I generated the above word cloud using wordle on my ten most popular posts. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of word clouds, the clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. While most of the larger words make sense, I’m surprised by the relative…

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Sales Performance gauge

Traffic Lights redux

As I’m done bashing MBOs (for now), I might as well revisit my long-standing concern with the ubiquitous red/yellow/green traffic light metaphor. While the metaphor is intended as a simple summary of performance (green = good, red = not good), for most business situations three levels of performance are not enough to truly judge results….

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