More Companies are Following Google’s Lead and Implementing OKRs

Marina Martinez

Posted by Marina Martinez
October 31, 2014

I suppose you won’t be shocked to hear that a lot of companies want to be like Google. After all, the company earned almost $60 billion in revenue in 2013 and employs more than 50,000 people. In order to get the most out of an organization that size, Google uses a management method known as Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to align, motivate and assess employees. Clearly the approach is working for Google and now many other companies are catching on. It is one way that, regardless of industry or size, organizations can be a little more Googleish.

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Is Everyone in Your Organization Working with a Purpose?

Marina Martinez

Posted by Marina Martinez
October 29, 2014

Why am I here? It’s one of life’s most existential questions and one best pondered alone over a cup of coffee on a rainy Sunday morning. But, as it relates to work, it’s a question that every employee should be able to answer. Each individual, from the CEO to the payroll clerk has a purpose. Every role exists for a reason, yet too often it’s not well communicated or understood. This leads to disengaged employees who work only hard enough not to get fired. Successful leaders are those supported by a team of people who are all working with a purpose. Can everyone at your organization answer the following questions?

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Circle of Blame- It Can Be Avoided by Using Performance Management

Gary Cokins

Posted by Gary Cokins
October 27, 2014

Here is a fictitious story. But how true could it be?

Our company’squarterly financial results were just announced.Our loss was unexpectedly double lastquarter’s loss, and we have now been in the red each quarter for over a year. How can this be happening to us? Our company has been profitable for decades!
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A Successful CEO Can Predict Company Performance

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
October 23, 2014

 

Building a predictable company leads to success, and a successful CEO

Just like every employee in a company CEOs worry about losing their job. Unlike other employees who may only need to please their boss, CEOs have a whole range of constituents that they need to please. Employees, customers, shareholders, board members; the list goes on and on. Everyone feels free to express their opinions, often negative, on how the CEO is doing. While it is important to listen to feedback, the CEO of any large organization can’t respond to every tweet or comments.  CEOs need to focus on what moves the needle in their operations and make sure they provide leadership to not only the company but the board as well.

As I have discussed many times before, leadership is accomplished by maintaining the 3Cs: credibility, competence and caring.

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CEO Best Practices: #8- Operational Knowledge

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
October 17, 2014

How can you be a better CEO?

CEO Best Practices: #8- Operational Knowledge

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Strategy and Execution from the Grid Iron to the Boardroom

Mason Hale

Posted by Mason Hale
October 15, 2014

The NFL season just kicked off again. I didn’t watch any of the preseason games so it was my first dose of football in a while. One of my favorite things about football is that, just like in business, the difference between a win and a loss comes down to two things; strategy and execution.

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Employees Love Feedback, Hate Employee Reviews. Wait. What?

Mason Hale

Posted by Mason Hale
October 13, 2014

Check out any blog, book or article about why employees quit their jobs, and you’ll find lack of feedback among the top reasons.  (Often even before salary.) This may make you think that employee reviews are an important retention tool. You’d be logically consistent, but wrong. Research shows that pretty much every employee, including those who are eager to learn and develop, hates performance reviews. What gives?

A Look at the Dreaded Employee Performance Review

There are several factors that contribute to employee acrimony toward the employee review.

  •  It’s too infrequent to be useful – Employee performance reviews are usually conducted annually, bi-annually or quarterly. Giving someone input weeks, months or even a year after they’ve accomplished, or mishandled something is just not that helpful. Context gets lost and after-the-fact advice is futile.
  •  It feels punitive – No matter how the review is conducted, it feels like an opportunity for criticism and puts people on the defensive.  By the way, employees are on to the feedback sandwich method (one positive thing, one negative thing, one positive thing). When positive and negative feedback is mixed into one session, you can bet that the negative will extinguish any good feelings from the positive.
  • It’s inauthentic – Employees know that managers must conduct employee performance reviews. This makes even the most positive feedback feel forced and disingenuous. The formality undermines  a manager’s attempts to convey genuine appreciation or concern.
  • It is disconnected from goals and objectives – Often what an employee considers their goals and objectives are misaligned with how they are measured in a performance review. They may think they’ve done great work, only to find that expectations were unclear.
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Predicting Business Outcomes Requires More than a Quarter

Marina Martinez

Posted by Marina Martinez
October 10, 2014

Professional football is in full swing and, in millions of workplaces around the country, it means that the office football pool is humming right along too. I once worked in an office with a pretty healthy weekly football pool. Our boss claimed to know nothing about football, yet week after week, he won. One day, football came up in a conversation with his administrative assistant and I mentioned how impressive it was that he kept winning the pool and she snorted a laugh. She told me he didn’t care about football or the bet. He just wanted to look like "one of the guys." He aked her to fill out the sheet each week for him. When she asked him which teams he wanted to pick, he and told her she could flip a coin or pick them by the team's mascot if she wanted. So that’s what she did. The Bears would beat the Packers, because, well, bears. The streak didn’t last, but for a few weeks it worked.

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Creating the High-Performance Board- Part II

Ralph Hasson

Posted by Ralph Hasson
October 9, 2014

Assessing Board Performance

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Org Charts Are Important, So Why Are They Misused?

Mason Hale

Posted by Mason Hale
October 9, 2014

In almost every field, it is the details that separate excellence from mediocrity. In fashion, the quality of the fasteners on a handbag can set one apart from another. In cooking, the perfect fried egg is only seconds away from a rubbery mess. In sports, the patience to hold off on that nasty slider can turn a ballgame around. The little things that some people shrug off or take for granted, make all the difference. This is absolutely true in business as well. Organization charts are a great example of a basic detail that too many leaders ignore.

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CEO Best Practices: #7- Financial Knowledge

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
October 9, 2014

CEO Best Practices #7- Financial Knowledge

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Business Prediction Solution - The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Marina Martinez

Posted by Marina Martinez
October 8, 2014

I hate to say it, but the holidays are upon us and I don’t mean Halloween. How do I know that “the season,” is already here? Staples and Office Max have started putting out those "office gifts" that you get for someone you don’t know well enough to buy them something good. They’ve got little basketball hoops that go over your wastebasket, miniature indoor putting greens, desktop Zen-gardens; apparently anything can work if you make it out of fake cherry wood and add a touch of brass.

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Do You Have to Go on Undercover Boss to get CEO Insight?

Marina Martinez

Posted by Marina Martinez
October 7, 2014

You may have seen or heard about the CBS reality show, “Undercover Boss.” In it, CEOs in disguise join their own companies as regular front line employees. They work right alongside unsuspecting staff members and participate in day-to-day tasks. Utah Jazz owner, Greg Miller, for example helped install the court before a game. In every case the CEO is interviewed prior to going undercover and asked what they want to learn. Most want to be sure that employees are living up to brand standards and correctly executing proscribed procedures. What they actually learn (aside, from the fact that their employees have personal lives, struggles and dreams), is that company inflected barriers often keep employees from preforming their best. Mr. Miller learned, for example, that they needed to replace the mechanism that carries the risers in the Delta center to ensure guest and employee safety. All of the CEOs report coming away from the show with a new perspective. But do you really have to go that far to get CEO insight? Although it probably doesn’t hurt, it just isn’t practical for everyone. Here are a few things that are.

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Top 4 Reasons a CEO Dashboard Makes Sense

Mason Hale

Posted by Mason Hale
October 6, 2014

Many discussions of business management involve the “CEO as driver of the car” analogy. It’s a nice metaphor and can help to illustrate certain principles like mapping out your route, making course corrections if conditions change, and maintaining the vehicle to ensure a smooth ride. So it probably isn’t much of a surprise that a software solution designed to help leaders manage and improve company performance is likened to a CEO Dashboard. Like your car’s dashboard, a CEO dashboard provides critical, real-time information, visualized in a way that it is understandable in a glance. Here are just a few of the reasons implementing a CEO dashboard makes sense.

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Avoid These 5 Operations Management Strategy Mistakes

Mason Hale

Posted by Mason Hale
October 3, 2014

Our work with clients has given us the opportunity to develop tremendous insight into the practices and mindsets of successful CEOs and mangers. Our clients have shared with us stories of great achievement and disappointing misses. We’d like to pass along some of this knowledge so that hopefully you can learn from them and avoid the pitfalls that others have flagged. Today we’re thinking about the operations management strategy mistakes we’ve seen.

 

Mistake #1 – Not Having an Operations Management Strategy

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The 5 Minute Ops Meeting Leads to Organizational Alignment

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
October 2, 2014


The Ops Meeting- done the right way will lead to organizational alignment

I am passionate about how companies are managed and how they can better optimize their efforts. I was visiting with a former executive of mine when he mentioned all the time he has to put into his weekly ops report for the CEO.  I have seen this scenario happen many times. What starts out as a simple status update for the CEO grows over time to include every piece of data ever gathered anywhere in the organization. 

Each time the CEO asks a question a new chart is created to answer that question forever into the future. The time spent on preparing all these charts and graphs begins to consume a significant part of each executives week. If the company is big enough admins in each department may take on the role of gathering the data each week. Suddenly there is this large unseen burden that is placed on the organization to generate a beautiful report each week, and the weekely meeting that is to ensure organizational alignment, becomes a different focus.

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Performance Management and the C-Suite

Gary Cokins

Posted by Gary Cokins
October 2, 2014

C-Suite / C-Sweet. C-XX / C-Savvy. C-Level / “Sea”-Level.

An organization cannot consider embracing analytics-based performance management methodologies without the involvement of its CEO, COO, CFO, CMO and other members of its executive team. But what types of involvement from them is needed? 

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