cranfieldcbp has written 130 posts for Smart Performance Management

New Operating Models – do they deliver the claimed benefits? (Or, never place rocks next to hard places!)

On our travels, we often see organisations declaring they’re using new operating models (or they’re about to). Someone, somewhere will have done some calculations, simulations or forecasting and arrived at the conclusion “we need to re-organise” or “centralise” or “decentralise”. Interestingly, these new operating models are often introduced by newly into position senior managers and … Continue reading

Soft Metrics and Hard Culture

I wrote last week about hard metrics and soft culture, which is a good description of how we need to think about PDRs and the personal management process. But today, let us look at this the other way round! Soft Metrics? Yes, in fact all metrics are soft. What does the “I” in KPI stand … Continue reading

Baobabs and Business

We hear so much criticism of business in the media it’s easy to forget just how important it is for society. Quite apart from manufacturing the products we want and need or providing services to add value to our lives, business creates a space for us to develop and learn, to work, to meet others … Continue reading

Data Democratisation and the Trouble with Rolling Averages

I was watching a webinar the other day with various luminaries adding weight to a subtle sales pitch. Two of them were talking about future trends – one claiming data democratisation (Google it!) was spreading like wild-fire and was to be encouraged, while the other spoke about it being a myth. I’m with the latter … Continue reading

Hard Metrics and Soft Culture

Cranfield is in the process of introducing a new faculty contribution system as part of the performance development review process (PDR). As part of that discussion, yesterday we were talking about the metrics and how they would be used to manage faculty. Prof Hugh Wilson came up with this phrase, “Hard Metrics and Soft Culture”, … Continue reading

The Problem with Regulators

Whether it be Police, Pharmaceuticals, Telecommunications, Infrastructure, Banking & Financial Services, we find that the Regulators are always one or more steps behind the industry they are regulating. This causes massive problems and significant waste in organisations trying to do their work as effectively and efficiently as possible. Let’s look at some examples (and agencies’ … Continue reading

Black Box Thinking, or Learning from Failure

We were just reflecting at the latest Round Table on Matthew Syed’s book “Black Box Thinking” (2015, John Murray Publishing, London) and in particular on learning from failure. So what I have done here is pull out some of the lessons which are really relevant for organisational learning. Syed compares the learning culture of the … Continue reading

Methods, Methods, and Methods… Part 2 of 2

So in our previous blog, we mentioned that we come across challenges like – “We’re going to do ‘Demand Management’ using Method ‘X’”. Per previous blog, our usual response is to unpick this requirement statement to understand two concepts – Demand Management and Method X. To recap on why we look at Demand Management, it … Continue reading

Investment needed – but will it happen?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (ICAEW) latest Business Confidence Monitor makes unhappy reading. One of the largest and most comprehensive quarterly reviews of UK business confidence, the report shows business confidence is now in negative territory reflecting mixed economic news and political uncertainty. The report highlights the need for business to move away from a … Continue reading

Methods, Methods, and Methods… Part 1 of 2

How many times has a senior executive approached you and said, “We’re going to use Method ‘X’ to improve our business processes”? What flies through your mind when you hear this: “I didn’t know our business processes needed improving.” “What’s Method X?” “Why Method X, why not Method ‘Y’, and how do we know it’s … Continue reading