Saturday, May 29, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"The earth is supported by the power of truth; it is the power of truth that makes the sun shine and the winds blow; indeed all things rest upon truth.”  - Chanakya
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Performance Matters Matrix – Cultural Shadows

The Performance Culture has  certain intangible qualities about it – a certain character. Six qualities are evident – passion, professionalism, teamwork, innovation, commitment, and accountability. There is a humble-pride and a pervasive pursuit of excellence and generosity.

These are qualities of character that progressive organizations covet and aspire to but find frustratingly evasive. It is because these character traits cannot be touched or manipulated directly despite every attempt to do so.

Like the shadow of a tree they sprout from small seeds, and grow bud by bud, branch by branch, and leaf by leaf almost imperceptivity in the tree over time. They respond instantly to the winds of change. Growth is perceived in ever-migrating shades of gray from day to day. The shadow is provoked by the trees deep well watered roots in the presence of light – life giving energy and nourishment.

The shadow cannot change the tree. The shadow changes only with the tree.
So it is with the intangible qualities of a performance culture.

The character traits of a performance culture are influenced by the work that is done within the roots and foliage of the Performance Matters Matrix. The performance characteristics shadow responds to nurturing, new growth and purposeful pruning and grafting.

The artistry found in Japanese Bonsai Trees are a testament to the creative vision, patient discipline, and skilled touch of the gardener.

There are no shortcuts to the nurturing  and growth of exceptional organizations. There is only  the provoked consequences of intentional and persistent leadership. The work is hard and never ending. The product is rare and treasured.

With these understandings each of the nine cells (foliage) of the Performance Matters Matrix can be further considered…

All The Best!


©Copyright 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth." - Einstein

Performance Matters Matrix - Metrics

A Performance Culture advances through a constant flow of timely measurement and information. Professionals, whether athletes,  clinicians, or business people, depend on performance metrics to validate their achievement and to establish new performance goals. They excel because they train, compete, measure, and manage.

There are three types of metrics that are important to a Performance Culture – Leading, Loading, and Lagging indicators. Together they define reality and priorities.

Leading indicators are metrics that are  predictive of future performance. They establish expectations and serve as an early warning system. They tend to be oriented toward marketing and sales activity and commitments.

Loading indicators measure resource consumption and service/product production. They provide information about work load and surplus capacity as it is being experienced. They are indicative of the load under which the system is operating.

Lagging indicators track the value of completed work and are commonly financially oriented. They access past performance but are unable to change that performance.

Taken together leading, loading, and lagging indicators provide  rich performance perspective (past, present and future) that solicits and empowers strategic decisions to be made and actions to be taken.

A Performance Culture is recognized by a constellation of characteristics that contribute to competitive advantage and the attraction of top talent…

All The Best!


© Copyright 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"Very young people and very old people are the most honest, for they do not have an investment in the fears and games that make other people dishonest." -  Guide Mary (Carla Gordon)
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Performance Matters Matrix – Motivation

A Performance Culture is motivated – collectively and individually. There is shared Purpose that inspires, energizes, and animates. Individually there is also motivation driven by Autonomy and Mastery.

The core Purpose of a sustainable performance culture is not self-centered. It reaches beyond benefit to members of the Practice. Purpose defines relevance and determines priorities. It attracts people who  are like minded, builds loyalty, and elicits exceptional effort with superior service. Purpose expects passion. The determination of purpose is the work of leadership.

Autonomy respects and honors the individuals within the business culture – it frees them to be themselves and to contribute naturally. It is autonomy premised on principles, responsibility, authority, and accountability. It avoids prescriptive rules that are unnecessary. It controls what needs to be controlled rather than want can be controlled. Autonomy is balanced by accountability. It is focused on individual initiative and value producing outcomes.

Personal development, opportunity, advancement, and achievement are inherent rights in a performance culture.  Mastery of knowledge and skill is encouraged, recognized, and celebrated for the realization of human potential and capacity for service contribution.  Inherent to Mastery is competence, confidence, creativity, and a spirit of generosity. Mastery is not rewarded for its progressive attainment but rather for its ongoing contribution.

In addition to responsibility and motivation, a performance culture is distinguished by quantifiable performance metrics...

All The Best!
© Copyright 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"The truth is always exciting.   Speak it, then.   Life is dull without it." - Pearl S. Buck
Friday, May 14, 2010

Performance Matters – Responsibilities

The Effort of a Performance Culture is harnessed by Responsibilities. There are three core responsibilities  – Responsiveness, Resource Efficiency, and Results Acceleration. These priorities are inherent to building Trust and delivering Value.

Responsiveness has both internal and external considerations – responsiveness amongst individuals within the practice team, and toward those serviced by the practice. Timely access, prompt attention, and considerate follow-up are hallmarks of responsiveness.  Responsiveness has both Trust and Value considerations.

Resource Efficiency has primarily Value considerations. The conservative, efficient, and effective use of resources optimize financial performance and help ensure profitability, job security, and the sustainability of innovative services over time. 

Results Acceleration propels the notion of performance outcomes into a new dimension. It’s not enough to just get good results today; but to also be able to continually make the appropriate decisions and take the necessary actions to reliably improve the capacity to achieve better results in less time with lower expense.  

These priorities are Core Responsibilities of a performance culture. But, these priorities are not sufficient to motivate professionals. For that, something else is needed…

All The Best!


© Copyright 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to stick with the possibilities."
Monday, May 10, 2010

Performance Matters – The Third Dimension

The Performance Matters Matrix is framed in three dimensions. The two dimensions of Trust and Value have already been considered. The third dimension is Effort. Again, there are three components to Effort – Intensity, Persistence, and Resiliency.

Intensity has to do with the amount of resource that is committed and harnessed for the purpose of achieving a goal or delivering on a promise – think of performance in the nine primary cells of the Matrix. Enthusiasm and Intensity travel together.

Persistence is about the sustainability of commitment over time and in the face of obstacles, challenges, and resistance. Persistence is a “can-do”, “won’t take no”, “what-ever-it-takes”, "can I help", “it’s my job” attitude. Encouragement facilitates Persistence.

Resiliency renders setbacks and failure temporary. It’s about “restoration”, ”bouncing back”, “getting up again", “next time”, and “fresh starts”. Resiliency has to do with remaining true to one’s character and purpose even in the face of fear and failure. Empowerment arises from Resiliency.

Effort determines the potency and sustainability of a performance oriented culture. Effort places attitude ahead of achievement. It assures that Trust and Value are not superficial, not just words, and not a matter passing convenience. Effort is a measure of passion, commitment, and loyalty. Effort is irreplaceable.

A purpose driven culture harnesses effort with priorities and motivation…

All The Best!


© Copyright 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"When you remember truth in the face of illusion, you gain far more than when you remember truth in the presence of truth." - Alan Cohen
Thursday, May 6, 2010

Performance Matters Matrix – The Tenth Cell

The Tenth Cell of the Performance Matters Matrix circumscribes and encompasses all nine cells previously discussed. The Tenth Cell represents a Performance Culture that evolves through the systematic practice of performance behaviors defined by the nine primary cells and driven by a commitment to Trust and Value.

Culture is the cumulative attitudes, values, motives, beliefs, knowledge, experience, rituals, and behaviors shared by a group. Culture defines truth and reality for the group – it is implicit and explicit. It is communicated and imitated becoming deeply internalized. Culture is a collective programming of the mind.

Culture runs deep, very deep – it defines a third dimension within Practices that is often not spoken about and often not even considered. Culture is resistant to change. Often culture is more potent than management. The result is that often the culture drives management rather than management driving culture.  Unmanaged culture seldom rises above mediocrity and rarely if ever excels.

More frequent than not, disruptive external force is necessary to elicit cultural change in business. Absent such force, exceptionally strong, persistent, and focused leadership is required. The Performance Matrix provides a strategic framework for the transformation of practice culture.

Until culture changes, nothing changes for long!

Culture introduces a third dimension that compliments Trust and Value – the dimension of Effort

All The Best!


© Copyright 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me." - Isaac Newton