Monday, June 28, 2010

Performance Matters Matrix - Service

Service is patient/client centric, thus its position at the center of the Performance Matters Matrix. Service is at the heart of operations because it is the purpose of operations. Service is not a matter of provider words but rather one of client experience that aligns with the highest of expectations. It is where every client experience achieves optimal alignment and where a dynamic balance is perfectly sustained.

Service is where possibility and potential is transformed by perfect provider performances. Service focuses attention on the recipient rather than the provider. But paradoxically in doing so, the unique value and integrity of the giver is recognized and rewarded.

Service is a matter of Relational Integrity in the Performance Matters Matrix. Value is predicated on integrity – that is doing what one says they will do and delivering on one’s promises. A guarantee is at the very least implied.

The Service cell is the only cell that touches every other cell in the Performance Matters Matrix. It is as they say, “Where the rubber meets the road”, “Where the talk is walked”.

With Service the focus is not on location, facility and equipment – such operational elements only create an environment conducive to service. Service is a matter of provider purpose, priorities, perceptions, attitudes, behaviors, encouragement, and skill. It is a matter of relational competency, generosity, graciousness, humility and integrity. Its hallmark is a culture of realized potential.  Service is delivered through servant leadership.

Service is not about cutting corners; it is not about compromise. Close doesn’t count.

Service anticipates. It is authentic, responsive, vulnerable, and self-correcting. It is reliably, “Spot-on”. Service "does onto others as they need to be done unto".

With Service comes the privilege and necessity of communication…

All the Best!


(c) Copyright 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives." - Einstein
Thursday, June 24, 2010

Performance Matters Matrix - Marketing

The value of Marketing is measured in growth of volume, revenue, new opportunity and trust.   Practice marketing involves the expansion of one’s business/social network, the enhancement of practice awareness by the market, the management of market preferences/ expectations, and the securing of new referral sources and clients. It is anything but casual.

Marketing is all about relationships. Today it’s less about what you sell and more about why and how you serve! It is about what differentiates your unique capabilities and services from being a just another “me too” commodity.  

Marketing is time and communication intensive. If investment is marginal then return on investment can also be expected to be marginal. If communications are not targeted they are wasted.

Markets are diversified in interests, needs, and expectations thus market segmentation, targeting, and messaging becomes essential.  Marketing is no place for follow-the-leader strategies but it is what most practices practice. The use of worn-out, one-size-fits-all market messaging/formulary/protocol/templates only validate that the service being offered is nothing more than a commodity to be undervalued and overlooked. 

To counter that perception, practices routinely talk about how special they are - just like everyone else! Practice websites tend to be a collection of tired colors, industry jargon, and self aggrandizement. Newsletters all tend to look and sound alike - no wonder few people read them or even care. 

Prospective clients want to know how you think. They want to know why you do what you do, and how you are distinctively better. They want to know about your passion and contributions to their community. They want to sample you. They want to know how they will be treated and how they will be benefited. They want to know you care! There is an oversupply of words and empty promises in our world. People want to know you are for real!

It has been said that when market competitors are “zigging” there can be a lot of value in “zagging”. Market leaders understand this.

Effective marketing produces value, builds trust, drives preference, and results in referrals/sales. Marketing is out-of-the-box - it happens in the community not in the office. 

Most professionals are less than comfortable, proficient, or effective at marketing. Yet their participation is critical – they are the service being promoted.   Effective service marketing requires that the market be able to sample the service with minimal risk. Recommendations and endorsements are important, since it validates value and trust. Marketing professional services is about getting known, liked, and preferred. Given a choice, people prefer to obtain services from those they like. Get liked broadly! Give people something to sample, talk about, and brag about.

For most practices, the mentoring of professionals to build marketing competence, confidence, and custom-fit marketing strategies provides the most favorable return on investment.  There is huge opportunity for innovation in the marketing of professional services.

Marketing, Service and Communication are inextricably linked and interdependent…

All the Best


© Copyright 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

"The most violent revolutions in an individual's beliefs leave most of his old order standing. Time and space, cause and effect, nature and history, and one's own biography remain untouched. New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity.” - William James

Performance Matters Matrix – Audit

Performance Auditing creates value by verifying whether intended performance is being achieved and testing whether performance remains relevant within a rapidly evolving market. Performance audits are the foundations for continuous performance improvement, new opportunities, and new beginnings. Each is a reality check.

Performance Audits are at the intersection of Informational value and trust enhancing results in the Performance Matrix. Audits provide evidence that performance expectation were operationally achieved. They validate whether business priorities, strategies, systems, processes, training, and management are performing effectively. Audits drive important questions...

  • Did we do what we said we would do?
  • Did we achieve what we said we would achieve?
  • If yes, what were the keys to our success?
  • If no, what were the seeds of our failure?
  • Whether yes or no, what lessons did we learn?
  • For whom did we create value; and for whom was value eroded?
  • Whose trust was earned and whose was compromised?
  • What performance expectations/standards need to be adjusted to remain relevant?

A Performance Audit moves management into considering matters of importance – marketing, competition, regulation, innovation, human resources, physical and financial resources, productivity, capacity, sustainability, and social responsibility.

The Audit is not just a compliance tool. It keeps Practices healthy, relevant, viable, and competitive. It creates opportunities for encouragement, mentoring, training, recognition, and reward.

Audits are all about setting the bar on Performance Standards. As Goldilocks found out, life is not comfortable when things are too big or too small. And so it is with standards. They need to be set just right.

When things are just right it’s time to market and grow…

All The Best!


© Copyright 2010
Performance Builders
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quotable - Truth Series

Truthful people are those who agree with you.” – Bob Wiersma   
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Performance Matters Matrix – Tracking

Performance Tracking creates value by reassuring when all is well and alerting when all is not. The purpose of Performance Tracking is to know where one is and how one is proceeding in relationship to one’s intended goals so that timely decisions can be made and actions taken to assure that goal achievement will be inevitable. Tracking takes place in the Performance Matrix at the intersection of strategic information and behaving with integrity. 

Performance is behaviorally driven. Favorable behaviors and performance need reinforcing and unfavorable need correcting. Both require feedback that is timely and focused for effective decisions and countermeasures to be taken.  Tracking is effectively the business equivalent of proprioception in the human body.

Tracking should not be seen as either passive or punitive but rather as a tool for performance assurance and improvement designed to elicit management response in a timely fashion.  

Tracking systematically samples and reports on the status of the 15 – 20 Performance Standards previously discussed. Computerization facilitates data collection and enables automated presentation, interpretation, and distribution.  Performance Tracking is not intended to provide simple answers but rather to provoke meaningful questions at critical times.

"Numbers have a way of taking a man by the hand and leading him down the path of reason." - Pythagoras

Practices that operate without performance standards and tracking essentially fly blind and predictably under perform. Like a GPS navigation system, managers are prompted to reliably make the right decisions at the right time.

Performance reporting is not something that is done annually or even monthly. To be effective it is critical that the right information be reviewed and acted upon at least weekly. When executed correctly, Tracking enables managers to move beyond reacting to the urgent to instead proactively manage the important.

Of course Tracking has no value if managers refuse accountability, delay decisions, or fail to take prudent action - a situation that is surprisingly common. 

With Performance Tracking implemented, management is empowered to assume more of a strategic role by focusing on Performance Auditing – assuring that Performance Standards and Tracking remain relevant in a constantly changing environment…

All The Best!


© Copyright 2010
Friday, June 4, 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
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Performance Matters Matrix – Standards

Performance Standards create value through information and build trust by respectfully establishing shared expectations pertaining to important matters of strategic value. 

Performance Standards set the bar for performance. Performance Standards provoke professionals rise to their potential. Performance Standards create superior Practices that grow profitably, serve their communities, and provide job security. 

The establishment of Performance Standards generally yields an exceptional return on investment – both long and short term. They represent low hanging fruit for all Practices.

Standards must not be arbitrary or exploitive. They should be well considered, objective, quantifiable, and defensible. In establishing Standards due consideration should be given to comparative benchmarked performance in other practices, competitive realities in local markets, evolving market trends, vision, strategic intent, resources, and past performance.

Performance Standards typically include both operational and financial metrics that are carefully aligned and fully integrated. A typical array of Performance Standards would include 15-20 strategically chosen metrics that provide management with a comprehensive perspective of operational performance. Each metric must have an owner. Matters of responsibility, control, authority, and accountability are critically important.

Standards are not to be taken lightly. If they are not right, they are wrong and the Practice ends up reinforcing that which it needs to change.. With Performance standards there is just one opportunity to get it right. Failure is not an option.

Without Performance Standards management cannot manage. Without Performance Standards management is not managing. Without Performance Standards superior performance is just a dream.

With Performance Standards established, attention turns to Performance Tracking – Taking control, making meaningful management decisions, and managing the service experience…

All The Best


© Copyright 2010