These days, its hard to get by in a leadership position without embracing what I call the “management philosophy de jour”. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?- Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, TQM, BPR, BPO, …you get the idea. That’s a lot to stay current with if you’ve gonna have staying power in an organization, or more importantly, be seen as someone who can make a contribution in your organization’s “new world”.
While all of these management philosophies have their niche, and may even be remembered well by history, all of them have one thing in common. They begin with a very critical review of the “as is” state of an organization, process, or business function. AND, they all end (or better yet, continue forward) with an assessment of gains over current baseline. No matter which philposophy you’re operating under today, you can’t get by without the capability of doing an honest assessment of current performance, and laying in a good foundation to track improvements and hold people accountable over time.
And here’s something else to think about. It works for life too! Whether its your golf game, your weight, or personal recovery/ imporvement…developing the skills of honestly assessing yourself, and having the discipline to set goals and hold yourself accountable is paramount. If you can develop these skills for your career, you’ll likely get a double impact, as these skills will transfer nicely into life and family. Conversly, if your don’t develop these skills, you’ll find yourself fighting an upstream current.
As you go forward, try taking a fresh look at the art of performance measurement and tracking in the context of your company’s bigger initiatives. Add more honesty and objectivity to your initial assessments. Resist the temptation to get caught up in data denial when presented with external benchmarks from companies that don’t look just like yours. Get real about goal setting and performance planning. Begin embracing true accountability for results.
I consider these all healthy aspects of the performance management discipline- The “OLD FAITHFULS” that the organization can rely on no matter which management philosophy it is embracing at the moment. These skills are timeless and will be in demand for as long as business is around. That you can bank on!
Author: Bob Champagne is Managing Partner of onVector Consulting Group, a privately held international management consulting organization specializing in the design and deployment of Performance Management tools, systems, and solutions. Bob has over 25 years of Performance Management experience and has consulted with hundreds of companies across numerous industries and geographies. Bob can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org