Performance Management – It’s Not Rocket Science

After working with executives and executive teams for the past 11 years here at Hewsons, I have observed that performance management at all levels throughout an organisation comes down to two things.

Make good decisions and effectively implement those decisions.

Sounds simple, but actually, it’s quite complex. Here are some of the reasons why –

1. An organisation has a diverse range of stakeholders who want the organisation to take care of the things that are important to them. Shareholders, boards, investors, clients, managers, peers, reports, employees, suppliers, banks, communities affected by the organisation etc. Partnering your stakeholders and taking care of what’s important to them is ultimately what determines performance. Being accountable for these relationships and having a clear understanding of what’s important to them is crucial in making the right decisions and effectively implementing those decisions. Professor Peter Hawkins an authority on high performing teams talks to Bernd Schmid about this foundation of high performance.

2. Every executive has personal limitations that get in the way of making the right decisions and implementing those decisions. These range from not having developed certain competencies over the course of their career to personal discomfort zones such as not wanting to disappoint people or an ‘over’ concern for what people think of them. These lead to bad decisions and severely limit the implementation of any decisions made. High performance starts with the recognition that every person has blindspots that limit what is possible at any point in time.

3. Organisational culture shapes organisational behaviour. If the culture does not support effectively implementing decisions, your performance will be drastically reduced. Addressing the culture starts with your own behaviour and the behaviour of your reports. Everyone needs to be on the same page.

4. For the most part, business planning and implementation is done poorly if at all – without a structure for decision making and implementation, management becomes about reacting and putting out fires. High performance requires planning and effectively implementing the plan.

What are your limitations to making good decisions and implementing those decisions?

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