What kind of perspective do you have?
When I consult with companies I always look for the type of perspective of the people I meet. I encounter many different people, and what strikes me is that they often hold a very narrow view of performance. What I try to do is to turn them around and look at Performance Management as a holistic system where strategy is the centerpiece.
To the Finance person: “Budgets and resource allocation is not an independent task – you need to connect your resource allocation toward achieving your company’s strategic objectives. So connect with your company’s strategy.”
To Quality person: “Quality is about doing things right, but what the right things to do is described in your strategy. So connect with your company’s strategy.”
To the Process person whose life has been about process and BPR I say “Process optimisation is good, but which processes should you optimize? Connect with your company’s strategy.”
When I meet the Project Manager who has a large portfolio of projects, I ask “How do your projects help your company fulfil its strategy? Have you linked up to your company’s strategy? If not – connect with your company’s strategy.”
Then I come to the Risk Manager. He has warning signs all over and evacuation plans as wall paper. I ask him how he identifies risk. Are they things that can go wrong in his surroundings, or does he ask, “What can hinder the company from fulfilling its strategies? You need to connect to strategy when defining risk factors.”
Finally I come to the HR Manager. His view is that employees and competence is most important. I say, “People and competence is not a goal in itself, but a need to be developed according to what the company is trying to accomplish in its strategy.” HR needs to orientate and connect to strategy.
So after talking to all the different managers they see the need to gather around the centerpiece of Performance management, which is Strategy. This is the only arena where you can gather the different disciplines and make peace and develop coherent plans for the future of the company.