Newsletter – December, 2012

On My Mind

Performance Measurement involves developing a set of performance metrics for a business unit, service line, department, agency, division, region, office, etc. A leader at any level in an organization should have a set of performance metrics for his/her area. It is now becoming a common practice to make performance metrics visible so that improvement opportunities can be identified and the effects of improvement activities determined. Here are seven principles that can be used to guide the development of a set of performance metrics: Relevance—measure what matters; Accountability–know who is accountable for each metric; Integrity–strive for “clean” data; Balance–develop metrics in multiple categories (such as Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety, Education, Morale, etc.); Visibility–make the metrics visible; Accessibility—assure that employees have access to the metrics; and Actionable–use metrics that drive actions. Best wishes in developing your performance measurement system.

Interesting Stories

This is the first year that I participated in Black Friday. My daughter and I arrived at the Mall of America in the Twin Cities shortly before 4:00 a.m. I was expecting to see a lot of “crazy” shoppers stampeding for bargains, but that type of shopper was rare. There was a sense of excitement in the air and many of the stores were playing lively music and some store workers were dancing. It was interesting that there was a long queue of people waiting to enter the Apple Store before its opening at 6:00 a.m. The Microsoft store across the hallway appeared quiet. Overall it was a fun experience, but I probably won’t arrive until 6:00 a.m. next year.

Company News

I will be conducting a half day workshop on Implementing Hoshin Kanri for Competitive Advantage at the Minnesota ASQ Professional Development Summit on February 27, 2013. My public seminar schedule will be released in early January. Likely offerings will be Strategy Tools for Business Unit and Service Line Leaders; Creating Standard Work; and Building a Performance Measurement System.

Intriguing Reads

I studied the book titled, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, by Graham T. Allison, for one of my Strategic Management courses during my doctoral studies. I have wanted to re-read the book for years, but never made the time. To my delight, I discovered a second edition existed, co-authored by Philip Zelikow, which contained significant changes. This book is a must read for anyone serious about strategy. It introduces the reader to several conceptual models that can be used to analyze emergent events and strategic issues.