Strategy execution or performance management is a complex process. In fact, it’s a mix of several processes. And the ideal picture is different for each organisation. Each best-in-class performance management process should include some basic building blocks. I have selected 8 and have explained the first 4 in a previous article.
Here are the remaining 4.
1. Manage initiatives
Initiative management is the activity in which your dreams run up against reality, your strategy meets operations, and resources are added to the strategy formula. This is one of the most difficult steps in Strategy Execution − and so it’s also where execution quite often goes wrong.
Initiative management is about selecting, prioritising and executing the right initiatives: those actions that will lead to the realisation of your objectives. Initiative management can be broken down into 3 main activities. Portfolio, program and project management.
2. Set Objectives
Setting individual objectives is one of the best things you can do to improve performance − your own performance, and (if you have them) your team members’ performance. The positive impact of goal-setting is one of the most widely researched and scientifically validated aspects of today’s organisational science. Two key researchers of goal-setting and task motivation theory are: Edwin A. Locke (University of Maryland) and Gary P. Latham (University of Toronto).
Make sure you link all individual objectives with the strategy at the organisational level. If you don’t, you might have a great objective … but it’s of no use to the organisation!
Also, make sure you focus on the way you secure agreement on the objectives. It’s the quality of the objectives – including the link with the overall company objectives – AND the acceptance of the objectives that will make your individual objective-setting a success.
3. Monitor & Coach
Regular coaching motivates people and increases their chances of success dramatically. It also simplifies the final performance evaluation. In fact, regular coaching is far more important than the formal review meeting somewhere around the middle of the year.
Providing feedback in the right way − which is a key coaching skill − is a crucial step in boosting performance!
Performance coaching is a relatively new, but rapidly growing, knowledge field. The leading authority is Sir John Whitmore.
4. Evaluate Performance
Most organisations conduct a formal performance evaluation at the end of the individual performance management cycle. Ideally, the evaluation should answer the question: have the individual performance objectives been achieved?
Be sure you make an honest assessment. There are several techniques that can help you. One of the best known is the STAR technique.
Although many organisations link performance to remuneration, performance evaluation is − and should be − a separate process