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God’s Eye View

There are not many people who have not either read the book or seen the film Lord of the Rings. In that story, Sauron, the evil wannabe ruler of Middle Earth has his watchful eye over all (almost) his lands and over all (almost) its peoples… and we know what happened to him! “I want … Continue reading

Politics, Thai Queens and Leadership

Listening to a discussion about Theresa May’s leadership style on this morning’s Today programme made me think about some of the organisations I have worked in – and also a story I heard whilst on holiday in Thailand.  One of the speakers was talking about the problems of surrounding yourself with like-minded people, essentially building … Continue reading

The Use of Best Practice – the Well-trodden Path to Mediocrity?

This is likely to be controversial, so I look forward to any (evidence-based) comments readers may have that counter my colleagues’ and customers’ observations on the use of Best Practice (or Best Value, or Best anything else for that matter). The root-problem behind the use of so-called Best Practice is founded in one of our … Continue reading

Why Performance Reporting is NOT Performance Management! – Part 6/6

Numbers? Courtesy of Dilbert (Scott Adams 08 May 2008). Does it seem like Performance Reporting is using numbers that you can’t understand, can’t work out where they came from or are just plain different from the numbers you have in your spreadsheet? This is just one of the issues with Performance Reporting where the numbers … Continue reading

Benefits of Performance Reporting

David Anker has been blogging about the shortfalls of performance reporting. His argument is that performance reporting isn’t performance management, an argument I wholeheartedly agree with. However, performance reporting is not without its merits. Below are a number of reasons why it can be useful. But first what do we mean by performance reporting? Here, … Continue reading

Cranfield School of Management’s 50th Anniversary and 50 years of management

http://www.cranfieldsom50.com/ Maury Peiperl’s recent blog about the origins of the school in a work study group back in 1953 started me thinking about how much work has changed since then. From the late 1880s to the start of the last century we had the earliest developments of management in Taylorism and the concept of scientific … Continue reading

Why Performance Reporting is NOT Performance Management! – Part 5 – Trust to Luck?

Alan Sugar, once chairman of Tottenham Hotspurs, is something like Marmite to most people – you either love him or hate him. However, there’s quite some insight in one of his quotes – “There is a lot of luck in football. Following England is like following Wycombe Wanderers or Leyton Orient. You hope for the best … Continue reading

Does your organisation need a Highway Code?

It’s always good when practice matches theory. Over my last few years at work I have been acutely aware just how badly some business processes can affect productivity and morale. We often hear about red tape imposed on businesses by government, but it seems to me that businesses have a great aptitude for tying their … Continue reading

Why Performance Reporting is NOT Performance Management! – Part 4

This is the transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision. Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision. Americans: This … Continue reading

How the energy market fails us all

“Anger as energy bills rise by 37%” That is the headline in the Telegraph this morning and we are now hearing a whole set of rhetoric about lack of competition in the energy market and the proposed Tory cap on energy prices. I don’t want to sound political here but this was the cap that … Continue reading