Posts tagged “Performance

Watermelon Day

Posted on August 3, 2017

Share

In basic red-yellow-green project status reporting, a watermelon is a project that is reporting its status as green when it is actually red at its core. Green on the outside, red in the middle. It is superficially showing on track when it’s really at risk. What is seen on the outside doesn’t match the reality of the content. On National Watermelon Day, resolve to go below the surface, have substantive conversations, and solve real issues. Let’s go cut into some watermelons. *

Continuity

Posted on July 14, 2017

Share

Most organizations have routines, either formal or informal, to introduce changes into the environment. This if often cyclical with some form of stimulus, incubation, and strategic acceptance followed by tactical realization and new (or refined) activities in ongoing operations. Challenges arise when something breaks the continuity of the cycle. A critical leader leaves, the organization is overly insular, strategic decisions aren’t clearly cascaded to execution, incentives aren’t aligned, etc. When (not if) the cycle is interrupted, the key to exceptional performance is how quickly the cycle can pick back up. The longer the cycle stagnates, the more fuel it needs to restart. *

Culture is Controllable

Posted on April 14, 2017

Share

“Isn’t culture a byproduct of everything else we do?” a client asked this past week. “Won’t it just present itself?” My coaching: it’s not so fatalistic. Yes, it’s impacted by what you do. But what you do should be impacted by your intentional cultural choices. What you talk about, how punctual you are, what you react to (what you don’t), what you measure, frequency of routines, etc. Let your culture infuse everything else, don’t let it just happen. *

Predictors

Posted on February 5, 2017

Share

When you’re driving, keep an eye on the tires of cars around you to more accurately predict turns and lane changes. In many sports, it’s watching the core – the center of gravity – of your opponent, avoiding the distractions of the extremities. What are the worthwhile predictors around you? “Old fishermen used to say it had to do with the moon, the wind, the lay of the seaweed on a low-tide rock…” *

Perception

Posted on November 19, 2016

Share

Executive interviews highlights: CFO: The CEO is pretty low maintenance, he rarely asks for anything. CEO: Everything I’ve received from the CFO, I’ve had to request. Both true statements, but what a difference in perception! Are you getting what you need? How can I improve my service to you? What can we advance together? Can I be more proactive/directive/targeted? A little communication goes a long way. *

Peer of One

Posted on September 10, 2016

Share

My team was calculating benchmark comparisons for a client, and I called an abrupt mental break. Really, how similar are these peer companies? Is Ford the same as General Motors? Coca-Cola and PepsiCo? Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Citi? Are company components – like people, process, or technology – commodities to be easily transferred? How much of one company would need to be replicated elsewhere in order to produce similar results? Yes, we can compare metrics to identify and apply best practices in domains, but ultimately an organization has its own history, culture and structure at a point in time. It has only one true peer…itself. “…if you want to rework Matisse, you’ll just be a bad Matisse, that’s all.” -Donald Judd It’s similar with individuals. Your specific personality, choices…

The Feedback Guessing Game

Posted on May 17, 2014

Share

Too often the guidance we give and receive is vague or open to wide interpretation. Feedback like do better, this doesn’t work or you need to win this, as one of my teams was told this week, unsure if it was receiving a career threat or a commitment for support. If there isn’t a clear vision of what to do differently, or a shared understanding of specific changes to make, it probably won’t happen. *