Archive | key performance indicators

The Red Queen Effect Explains Why You Aren’t Getting Ahead

For much of my career, I’ve argued that people design key performance indicators (KPIs) incorrectly. One of my own favorite blogs made the case that, unless you compare yourself against some external benchmark, you might be making progress towards achieving your KPIs but actually losing ground. Simplistically, if you’re growing by 20% and the market…

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Dilbert Claims Systems Trump Goals

No, this isn’t some new comic from Scott Adams about Dilbert interacting with Donald Trump – although I’m laughing about the possibilities. Instead it’s a central tenet of Adams’ most recent book titled How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. Adams relies on his trademark humor to describe “the strategies he has…

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March Madness Metrics: 2015 Edition

It’s March Madness, Baby! Most readers will recognize this catch-phrase celebrating the annual NCAA men’s college basketball tournament whose opening rounds just concluded. The tournament includes 64 teams organized into four separate regions which play over three long weekends until deciding a champion. Some – including me – believe it’s the most exciting tournament 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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Software Consumption

I’m a fan of the logic model because it emphasizes outcome KPIs that monitor impact rather than output metrics that track activities.  I also like strategy maps because they are simple visualizations that force scorekeepers to recognize multiple points of view (aka perspectives). A few months ago, I combined the two ideas while working with a…

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Smooth-sailing fallacy

One benefit of working for a European headquartered company is things slow down enough in August that I can start to catch up on reading. I was particularly intrigued by a short June 2009 McKinsey Quarterly article entitled “Management lessons from the financial crisis” in which UCLA business professor Richard Rumelt coins the term “smooth sailing…

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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 Balanced Scorecard?

Mark Graham Brown has published a short, but insightful, piece about eight categories of metrics that are often poorly designed called ‘What’s Missing from Your Scorecard?’.  I won’t incude the full article here since it’s available for purchase on Harvard Business Online, but Mark suggests that the eight areas that should be better represented on a balanced scorecard…

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