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It is time to reinvent management. You can help.
An interesting question I came across this week got me thinking. The question, rather rhetorical was along the lines of: “Why follow some model developed by a consultant when hundreds of smart people from hundreds of companies have spend tens of years developing and refining models line Baldrige and EFQM?”
The long answer to such a question, from my perspective is the following:
Sustainability as a strategic theme or Balanced Scorecard perspective
In two of my previous blog posts I addressed the link between biodiversity, sustainability and performance, raising questions around the role each organization has in addressing these issues. Companies such as Interface have demonstrated that efforts to reduce carbon footprint and environmental stewardship practices are rewarded by customers and the stockmarket. Such examples are for now exceptions and more can be done to embed sustainability practices in organizations. Besides theory and rhetoric, there are a number of practical ideas that are worth exploring:
Milton Friedman, Interface and performance ecosystems
There is widespread awareness today about the climate change and other environmental issues we are facing today at a global scale. In a simplistic way, I would categorize companies in three categories: the ones that don’t care, the ones that do something about it and the ones in the middle.
Perhaps the largest group is formed of the companies that don’t care, adepts of the principle that there are out there suitable institutions (government, UN bodies) to do something about these issues. This group is embodied by Milton Friedman’s quote in his notorious 1970 New York Times Magazine article, The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits:
“There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”
Biodiversity, sustainability and performance
Although widely unacknowledged, as declared by the United Nations, 2010 was the international year of biodiversity. It was meant to raise awareness in the fragile state of many species of plants and animals around the world and mobilize in safeguarding biodiversity. There is much talk about climate change, however the profile of biodiversity as a world crisis is somehow overshadowed. Perhaps many made terms with the idea that more and more species and threatened and disappear: ”…well, there are plenty…there is not much we can do…someone will look after them..”.
smartKPIs.com - a year in review
The end of June marks in Australia the end of the financial year, a time to evaluate the past 12 months and reconfirm the plans for the next 12 months. In terms of growth, smartKPIs.com figures speak for themselves:
- 6500 KPI examples documented;
- 1034 KPIs in Practice reports analyzed and cataloged;
- 410 Blog posts written;
- 40 Example of organizational objectives listed;
- 36 iKPI profiles developed;
- 21 Performance Panorama interviews published.
Enabling these results are thousands of hours our research team spent on researching and analysing tens of thousands of performance management resources. The insights gained as part of this work were captured in a series of premium products launched over the last few months:
A taxonomy of sources used for KPI selection
Working with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) requires selecting a group of relevant KPIs first. There are many options for this: start with a blank page, review other sources, or get someone else (such as a consultant) to do this for you among others.
Some of the general rules to follow on embarking on such a journey are:
1. Do your research. Selecting KPIs is a learning experience, a journey in itself. There are many insights to gain by taking it step by step instead of just getting to the destination. Research is an important component of this journey.
2. Acknowledge the uniqueness of your environmental settings. While some KPIs are widely used across organisations (i.e. % Satisfied customers, $ Sales revenue and % Profit rate), others are unique to each organisations as they reflect their strategy and specific conditions of operating. Each organisation should select the KPIs based on their relevance and not on their popularity.