Strategic performance management makes connection between strategy and culture of organization

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Introduction

Abemarle and Bond, a renowned pawn-broking firm in England is targeting toward expansion. With a figure like 1,100 shops, the boss does not seem to be looking at it with great hopes. Barry Stevenson strongly feels that there is definitely room for expansion. He affirms that there should be 3,000 pawnbrokers on high streets. With the strategy in mind, the firm is looking forward to open 25 stores this year in cities like Liverpool, Manchester, London as well as in other big cities thereby adding to the 139 it already has as goal. Above mentioned goals do need Strategic Performance Management.

Strategic performance management is aligning company strategy to team and individual goals and rewards, and ensuring the whole organisation is pulling together in the right direction.

Strategic performance management makes the connection between the 'hard' - the business goals, the strategy - and the 'soft' - employee motivation and culture - of performance management. It links the strategy and the culture of an organization and managers' ability to improve employees' performance.

Strategic performance management makes the connection between the strategy and culture of an organization and its ability to manage employees' performance to better impact on business performance.

Is it Really Important?

What happens at the organization's frontline is often not what the CEO intended when setting the business strategy.  This is because communications from the top are not always clearly understood further down the line, leading to a mismatch between corporate strategy and how it is translated into targets at a team or individual level.

Employees want to do the 'right' thing, but they can only do so if they know what the right things are and receive regular feedback about their work, and if their rewards are aligned - and understand the impact on delivering the business strategy.

By successfully connecting these three elements: people, strategy and culture, CEOs can improve their business results, enhance employee productivity and increase the likelihood of achieving their business objectives.

In short, if the 'hard' (the business goals and strategy) and the 'soft' (employee motivation and culture) are not in harmony, results suffer.  Yet by implementing strategic performance management the connection between the hard and the soft can be made.

The missing link is the strategic performance management model.  Executives must ask how they actually want to manage performance.  Long-term growth or short-term gains?  What targets must be met and by when? And how do you want managers and employees to work to achieve them?

In fact, be it a business project or even a social work project, development of strategies and learning the trick of management forms a vital part in today's work culture. Looking at Abemarle and Bond, the same ideology can be vividly seen. The firm is following the strategy of expansion thereby, improve its business prospects.

Bill is an integral part of the HR team at the company he is working with. In order to improve the quality of performance, the HR team is working on revising certain strategies. Revising on employees' performance in the form of annual reports, maintaining latest updates through newsletters and news release have started shaping the HRD of the company, thereby influencing the progress of the company. Blue Flamingo, one of the leading retail stores has also started revising their business strategies. Focusing on customer needs, they are rethinking about the various departments in their store. In addition, they are also extending their services. For example, they are introducing online shopping facilities too. Responding to consumer needs and catering to them has been the most important motive for the retail store. Keeping the public demand in mind, the retail store has done a total renovation of the store, and also added to the services. Taking the shoppers' drive into consideration, the store has included those items which are high in demand, in the online store facilities. With the growing awareness of globalization, industrialization as well as technologies, developing strategies and following them has been an integral part of work culture in the modern age.

Requirements

Strategic Performance Management is a dynamic process that requires information sharing, coordination and effective control and feedback mechanisms throughout the hierarchy of strategies and objectives to enable the organization to make its strategy work.

Initiatives

Strategic initiatives comprises any number of portfolios, programs and projects. Again note that strategic alignment is necessary among portfolios, programs and projects and that performance information feeds the decision-making process regarding which projects make up the programs and portfolios. Project strategy and objectives must be logically linked to the Strategic Performance Management framework and need to be taken into account when determining the capability of the organization during strategy formulation.

Build Your Strategies

A major share of an individual's daily schedule is of course devoted to office. Irrespective of whether you have your own business or associated with a typical 9-5 job or even if you are the Vice President of your organization, you have to accept the fact that a lion's share of your day would be pre-occupied by your workplace. Sometimes, the higher rank you go to the more time you have to devote to your work. Besides, there are other factors to consider too. If you are in a leadership role, then it's not just time that you have to consider. There are also other factors to take into account. You will have to shoulder more than one responsibility. It's not just the quality of work and the time you devote toward work that will determine your progress at workplace. Rather, you will be held responsible for other aspects like managing the team you are working with. In a way, you might also be playing the role of a psychologist. In fact, you would be working with an entire team, whereas your team members would be performing on an individual basis. So, it is very important that you keep both your eyes and ears wide open to your team in respect to the members. To be more explicit, you would have to be responsive to their performance and at the same time assess each individual's performance separately. In order to ensure quality, you might also have to address their needs and certain issues they might feel necessary to raise. The truth is, since you would be spending almost half the day with your workplace, where the team members form a major part, you would have to be very thoughtful. It is this thoughtfulness that helps create a better workplace and eventually affect the progress of the organization to a great extent.

The sky is the limit for people aiming to achieve success. In order to be successful, strategy is the word. The well-known story revolving around the hare and the tortoise might spread a message here. In other words, you have to be slow but steady in designing your strategies. Looking at the corporate sector, it can be seen that there are many companies which have reached to a significant level. However, looking at their history and source it can be seen that they have developed from a very grass-root level. Taking Mr. Bean for example, it has reached to a status of fully fledged brand from a mere TV program (www.bized.co.uk). An extensive mind process as well as professionalism has been the basic tools behind the prosperity of Mr. Bean. Mentioning worthwhile, it has been complex as well as demanded constant mind-work. Rowan Atkinson has been behind all the decision-making process. However, there are two other people who have influenced the decision-making process of Rowan Atkinson. Peter Bennett Jones, the Chairman of Tiger Aspect Productions, the company that is behind the production of the programs, and Katherine Senior, the Executive Producer are the two people who have influenced the decision-making process of the entire work-process. It is not just managing the program that is involved with the work. Rather, there are other duties and responsibilities too which are involved and eventually affect the reputation and growth of the company. In case of Mr. Bean also, the same rule applies. The responsibilities related to selling the program and merchandising and licensing rights to other businesses also have played a major role in shaping the company thereby elevating the level of Mr. Bean from a television program to a renowned brand. In order to develop a comprehensive idea and knowledge of what strategy they exactly follow, it would be helpful to look into what strategy they exactly follow. The producer of a program will go to a TV company, and then he is assigned with the responsibility of getting the program broadcasted. Now the deal works between the broadcaster and the producer. The two people associated with the entire project negotiate with the money required for the rights to show the program. The next factor comes with the audience and keeping their needs in mind. For the media world, the audience plays a major role which eventually determines the growth and development of a program. In other words, audience should form a significant part of the strategy. Mr. Bean has also followed the same strategy with keeping the audience in mind with special emphasis on the type of audience and their needs, as well as the effect it has on the market.

The philosophy of responding to clients or the targeted audience and catering to their needs has also been an influential factor for some other organizations and companies. Larry Burton, President of Strang, a well known company, admits that it is not difficult to address to the clients and it is also essential to keep their needs in mind (http://www.strang-inc.com/mailing/2001/10_01.pdf). In fact, Burton has also accepted the responsibility of listening to the clients and addressing to the needs as a culture of the entire firm.

Some Basic Key Points

After a deep analysis of the importance of strategies, it would be helpful to take a close observation into what is the thumb rule for building and developing strategies. To speak from a layman's point of view, be it at the home front or at workplace, following strategies do bring a great change. After all, performance is the word that exists at every sphere of life. Even a student also would be assessed according to his performance in academics at the end of the year. To speak candidly, even if a student has substantial knowledge on a particular subject, yet his "intelligence" would be determined by the score obtained by him at the end of his academic year. Once again, if he follows a strategically designed method of study, he is certain to obtain the required score.

Following strategies is essential to everyone. To speak of workplace, if one is in a leadership role working with a team of say 20 members, then he would have to consider various factors. First and foremost, human-being is not a machine. Just as one needs a healthy environment at the home front, so would he want to have a comfortable ambience in workplace too. The location of an organization definitely matters as also suggested by an online article (http://www.strang-inc.com/mailing/2001/10_01.pdf). The location of the company forms the physical environment which again determines the work performance and the quality of work. Keeping a balance of the two 'c's, concentration and collaboration, the physical environment should be planned. The next two primary factors included in the physical environment are mobility and flexibility.

Primary Factors

Primary Factors

Other Factors

Other Factors

Flexibility (It is related to location and hence falls under the category of physical environment)

Mobility (It is also related to location, and is a part of physical environment)

Concentration (Although it is not exactly under physical environment, yet it influences and determines the physical environment)

Collaboration

(This factor is also not exactly under physical environment, but again influences the physical environment)

Following these four basic factors, should the management team and the organization team plan for an office. In simple words, if a company is located in a place which does not provide flexibility or mobility, then it would be really difficult. A location at an outdated inflexible place might invite unwanted circumstances, which would eventually prevent the facility layout to carry on with the work process. This would also disturb the concentration which is the most significant part of any project. Team members would not be able to focus on work, thereby bring harmful circumstances to the progress of the company.

Starting from Financing to Annual Reports It's All about Strategies

Following strategies is helpful. However, it might demand you to be more deliberate and require a higher level of organization and management skills. Jurgen Daum, the Director of Program Management for mySap Financials, and a former CFO himself, affirms that it's not just materials that play a role when it comes to something like supply chain management. It's also the cash flow, which should be taken into account. The flow of cash can be in any form even including payments. A huge working capital would definitely include billing, payment, collection and settlement processes as well as financial transactions. Even other areas like borrowing money from the bank would also be a major part of managing the financial part of the organization. Once again, the team as well as people in the lead roles who are also associated with the organization, should design well though out plans to manage this part which might be the be all and end all of an organization. It can not be denied that the evolution of technologies has brought an immense change in organizations with special regard to management. Machines hand in hand with technology have already started shouldering responsibilities on a great scale. Most of the organizations now prefer to rely on devices like computers and e-pads and also other useful machines in order to store and manage their database. Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) deserves special mention in this regard. Through this specially designed e-finance solution, the overhead associated with issuing invoices has been reduced to a significant lower level like 70%. Interestingly, records show that many large companies have been able to save millions of dollars annually.

As goes a popular saying, 'There is always room for improvement', building up strategies and observing them religiously would always end up in landing you up in unknown truths. Such instances are not common when you work real hard, yet do not always get the desired result. The trick lies not in how hard you are working. Rather, it's all about how strategically you are managing your work. A leadership role like that of a Vice-President or a CEO would definitely require you to focus on a wide variety of responsibilities. Professionalism to start with, you would also be heading an entire team which definitely calls for effective strategies. Among other factors, you should definitely consider maintaining annual reports, newsletters, organizing developmental opportunities for employees like professional workshops, time management, and last but not the least addressing employees' needs and issues they might want to discuss with you. Sometimes an issue like setting up lights might also play a significant role in the workplace. The team leader should always be responsive to these needs, which form a major part of strategically designed method of working.

Integration

We've all challenged ourselves at some point in our lives, whether it was a 5K run, a weight loss program, a school project, and so on. The first thing we did when we decided to accept the challenge was to set personal goals. Those goals may have been to run the 5K in 20 minutes or to lose 20 pounds in 3 months, or to get an A on that project. Next, we developed a plan to reach those goals within the desired time frame. Lastly, we executed the plan. Now, if we're really goal oriented, we set milestones and were constantly comparing our personal progress in relation to where we were in our plan. The same way we (hopefully) reached those goals is the same way an organization should integrate their strategic plan into a performance program.

In the example above, integrating the plan into performance plan takes place during the goal setting phase, when we are deciding what we wanted to accomplish and how we would go to get there.

This methodology takes us from developing objectives, to developing a plan, to integrating strategy into the performance management system.

Below are 9 steps that will help ensure that organizational strategy is integrated with performance plan.

Develop Mission, Vision and Core Value Statements

Develop a Strategic Planning Process and Identify Organizational Objectives

Conduct Stakeholder Identification Analysis and SWOT/SWOC Analysis

Perform Gap Analysis

Align Key Processes, Projects, Systems, Workforce and Budget to Strategic Goals

Integrate Strategic Plan into Performance Management System

Integrate the Strategic Plan to Results-Based Budgeting System

Integrate Strategic Plan to Workforce Planning System

Integrate All Activities Into a Performance Management System

These are the high level steps to integrating corporate strategy into the performance management planning process.

Acknowledgement

When we claim value, we create value - a win/win for the organization.   There is great power in a group that notices it's potential together and is committed to each other's success.  When members of a team discover their sense of purpose, you don't have to ask them to do something; they call you to tell you what they've done.  Goals are fueled by purpose.  In our work we use processes that invite team members to be conscious and present in each moment so that they can deal positively with difficult issues and work beyond them to form lasting and active partnerships, generating a culture of acknowledgement.

 Let's take a look at what the Leader put into practice:

She noticed how hard people were working

She kept the vision in mind and took time to reflect on where it was aligned

She led from a sense of purpose and shared that with others

She was strategically encouraging, appreciative, and human in all interactions

Benefits of creating an organizational culture of acknowledgement and achievement, ask?  A culture of acknowledgement notice an increased capacity for performance, a trust in collaboration, a consistent stream of referrals, a relaxation around each other, becoming ambassadors for their work places, and actively feed off of each other's creativity and success.  Indeed, clients who have taken this philosophy home report an increase in harmony in their families.  Teams who are acknowledgement and achievement based choose to collaborate with potential rather than collude with issues.  Their performance management techniques turn to coaching - a team approach, rather than being punitive.  They look for and acknowledge the behaviour they want and any need to regulate behaviour decreases.  Their staff becomes achievement oriented.

Notice what someone is doing right and do it "strategically" with desired performance in mind.  A typical "good job" can work well now and again, however giving specific praise that cultivates desired behaviour is more beneficial. Use the followings:

The professional tone of your email invites the professional in all.

You followed your instincts to cut in and be in the right place to catch the pass.

Having that report to me earlier allowed me to add my piece earlier and "wow" the client.

You organized our meeting in a way that the whole team engaged easily.

You asked the perfect extra questions in the interview process to reveal the perfect V.P.

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