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Performance Trumps Everything Right?

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Jan 9, 2012

In your business do you place the highest priority on measuring performance and productivity?  Sales revenue, units sold, profitperformance stopwatch runner resized 600 margin, efficiency standards.  Are these gold standard in your business?

If so be aware that without balance, including counter balances to these measures, your business can become misaligned and begin to miss the priorities you’ve set.  Discussed in our last blog Inspire Your People were the critical principals of Core Values and Purpose.

If you find yourself emphasizing performance numbers to the exclusion of everything else, beware.  In business objectivity needs to be balanced with subjectivity or your business will begin to resemble a vehicle with square tires. 

Not too long ago a company placed an extreme focus on performance and got tremendous publicity for their efforts.  That company was Enron.  To the exclusion of everything else they dedicated themselves to looking good financially. 

You might be saying, Doug, I’m not in danger of becoming Enron.  I’m sure, okay, I hope not!  Yet I can tell you from working with some of my clients their obsession with all things performance oriented clouds their ability to recognize the soft and yet critical issues that drive the emotional side of their business.  This is where spirit, motivation and determination live.

Nilofer Merchant in her Harvard Business Review Blog, The Success Equation speaks more eloquently than I on the value of the human stuff.  She provides an equation to bridge-the-gap in performance models   It’s  S(uccess) = P(urpose)T(alent)C(ulture)  Or: S = (PT)C  

Please read her article on the importance that having the right culture and why defining your purpose is so critical to success. 

Customer and Employee feedback drive growth and engagement.   Companies that thrive on high customer loyalty perform twice their nearest competitor (according to research from NPS scores).  According to Gallup similar results appear for companies with high employee engagement.  You must be careful not to put so much focus on performance that you lose sight of the business purpose and the value of employees and customers in growing your business.

Strategic Discipline focuses on meetings, metrics and priorities.  How important is routine, the meetings portion of Strategic Discipline.  A new computer enlightened me on the value it provides.  That’s next blog. 

Topics: Net Promoter Score, employee engagement, Core Values, employee performance, Core Purpose

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1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

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Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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