performance measurement

Realizing the promise of employee engagement

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012

Ensuring your Great Expectations don’t turn into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly As the old joke goes, in a ham-and-eggs breakfast the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. That isn’t far off the mark for the difference between employee involvement and true employee engagement. Someone can be involved in something as a bystander, but they have to take action to be engaged. Today’s article is the first of a 3-part series for leaders who are considering making employee engagement an important part of their strategy. In today’s article – part 1 – we’ll talk about what...

Read More

Problem solving isn’t highly overrated . . .

Posted by on May 8, 2012

. . . when you’re solving the right problems. Last week I read an article by Lorne Armstrong titled “Problem Solving is Highly Over-rated”. It tweaked my interest since much of my work involves helping leaders to clearly define, and to avoid or overcome, important strategic problems. When a blog article makes a few good, practical points that readers can use immediately, the writer has hit the mark. Armstrong succeeds. He points to common deficiencies that undermine the value of problem-solving, beginning with weak problem definition. For example, he notes that many people cite the absence...

Read More

Two practical ways to implement your strategic priorities FAST

Posted by on Feb 29, 2012

In all my years as a management consultant, one of the funniest expressions I’ve heard is “it may work in practice, but it will never fly in theory”. Our last two articles on strategic prioritization were more theoretical and conceptual, but this week, let’s get practical. Senior managers may put a lot of effort into selecting the right strategic priorities, but it goes for naught unless they’re converted to action.  This week we’ll describe two simple, practical ways to convert your priorities to understanding throughout the organization, and most importantly, ACTION at the front lines....

Read More

How to prioritize for faster strategy implementation

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012

The hard choices of strategic prioritization So you know you have to finally decide  Say yes to some and let the other ones ride  There’s so many choices, not all can be tried  Yes you know you have to finally decide (With apologies to the “Lovin’ Spoonful”) In last week’s article we discussed the importance of setting a few critical strategic priorities to accelerate implementation, and the reasons why teams often neglect this important step. This week we’ll set out guidelines for prioritization to help your team become very clearly focused on the most critical...

Read More

Why plan in a retreat setting?

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012

Retreats can be highly productive During my career I’ve worked with more than 100 client organizations, public, private, for-profit and not for profit. The most productive planning meetings I’ve facilitated have been multi-day meetings held offsite, usually in locations requiring an overnight stay. The reason for selecting a retreat location is well known to those who have participated. These meetings are nobody’s idea of a vacation. It’s common to work 10 to 12 hours per day, interrupted only by breaks, and without the distraction of people rushing off to deal with “emergencies” or...

Read More

Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it? Part 3

Posted by on Jan 23, 2012

Recap In Parts 1 and 2 of this topic, we reviewed studies and opinions on executive pay. We found that the research shows: CEO pay has grown faster than the capitalization or profits of the companies they head, and this is most likely the result of measurement difficulties and remuneration policies that may be skewed by self-interest. This week we’ll conclude by answering the key strategic question “what should companies do about it”.  Our answer may surprise you. What the data does – and doesn’t – tell us As with nearly all population statistics, the pay received by...

Read More

Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it? Part 2

Posted by on Jan 16, 2012

Last week, in Part 1 of this topic, we introduced the following questions: Are the highest paid CEOs really worth what they’re being paid? And does paying top dollar for a CEO add to the bottom line, where it really matters? The answers, supported by studies cited last week, are that the Fortune and FT 500 firms with the highest paid CEOs experienced negative abnormal returns over the subsequent 5 year period. (See details in Part 1 of this report.) This week we’ll explore more data and review opinions from some of the top researchers in the field of executive pay. We’ll answer 2 key...

Read More

Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it? Part 1

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012

Are the highest paid CEOs really worth what they’re being paid? And does paying top dollar for a CEO add to the bottom line, where it really matters? CEO compensation has come under the spotlight in recent years like never before. Smoldering public outrage burst into a brush fire after the US government bailed out major financial institutions with more than 1 trillion dollars in taxpayer money only to see some of it doled out as bonuses to bank executives whose actions either caused the debacle or whose inaction allowed it to happen. The discontent this has sparked now threatens to spread....

Read More

In the absence of strategic thinking, strategic planning will probably maintain the status quo

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011

How to Stimulate Strategic Thinking In last week’s blog we wrote about the importance of advance preparation for strategy sessions. A comment from one of our clients got us thinking more systematically about what kind of advance preparation is most helpful, and we decided to share our thoughts in this week’s article. What is best for advance preparation depends on where the leadership team is in its progress towards becoming a strategy-driven team. Most clients come to us in when they are in one of four categories. Each benefits from a different approach to advance preparation.  This...

Read More

The Weak Linkage Between Employee Engagement and Productivity

Posted by on Jul 11, 2011

Look Before You Leap Managers often leap from the notion that “employee engagement is low” to “engaging employees will increase productivity and our strategic success”. While there may be a strong link between these ideas in some cases, it is far from universally true. Some will undoubtedly wonder how we strayed from strategic management to productivity. After all, isn’t productivity primarily about operations management? The answer is an emphatic no! Productivity is defined as “the value of outputs divided by the inputs required to produce them”. By that definition, an effective...

Read More