|Make improved business performance stick|
Published: Jun 27, 2012
If you know any Bahamian leader or manager who feels that his organization is beyond improvement, then I can identify an individual who will either be unemployed, or a business that will be in trouble in the not too distant future.
In ‘Beyond Performance Management’, business consultants and respected authors, Jeremy Hope (who sadly passed away in 2011) and Steve Player examine forty tools and practices to improve business performance by enhancing strategic planning, shareholder and customer value, lean cost management, performance measurement and evaluation.
They claim that any organization can improve its performance by utilising a range of management tools, including Mission Statements, Balanced Scorecards, Rolling Forecasts, Key Performance Indicators, Six Sigma, Performance Appraisals, Best Practice Reporting, Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, Benchmarking, and Sustainability. A short case study, an assessment of each tools value and a list of references enables further study to support this notion, underpinned with checklists allowing you to identify which actions to avoid and key activities to implement.
However, the authors’ critique not only focuses on the above tools, but the people who use them. There may be a vast array of management aids, but research suggests that just 30 percent of these deliver as intended. This is attributed to a range of factors, including executives not understanding the problem they are trying to solve and the tools being used to control frontline teams rather than empower them. This results in poor practice, with huge amounts of management time and expense wasted as companies abandon many initiatives, as some require a major cultural change or significant capital investment.
‘Beyond Performance Management’ is not a power-driven exhortation to try harder, or work smarter, but a quick reference guide to improve your performance within a particular area of interest. Just think, when someone within your company starts talking about “Lean Accounting", you can nod wisely, then discretely find a definition of it, description, its performance potential, and key actions to take – surely promotion beckons!
To conclude, it should be acknowledged that whatever is deemed as effective performance management today, may not be adequate to meet tomorrow's challenges. This makes on-going improvement essential, especially given the speed, complexity and impact of the changes that have occurred within The Bahamas over the past few years.
‘Beyond Performance Management’ by Jeremy Hope and Steve Player.
Published by Harvard Business Review Press and available from www.Amazon.com.
Keith Appleton JP, BA (Hons), N.Dip.M, MInstLM has extensive experience within a managerial and strategic leadership role. His academic background and membership of the UK Institute of Leadership & Management underpins this and he can be contacted at KeithAppleton@Hotmail.co.uk.