Interim Executive Resources

The PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK continued…

The Commitment Culture Series introduced and described a list of elements that describe cultural aspects of a business and how to move a company from compliance to commitment.  The High Performance series discusses requirements to achieve performance in an organization at individual and group levels.  In this second article of the Performance Framework series, these two models are merged and relationships established to tie these very different concepts together.  In particular, the use of the Commitment Culture elements to drive High Performance factors is discussed in depth.

The Commitment Culture Series identifies three elements that to a company culture:  MISSION, VISION, and VALUES.  If a business does a good job of describing each of these elements and takes appropriate actions to make them come alive in the organization, then high performance can be achieved.  The High Performance model describes a four element system to describe enablers for high performance and they are PERSPECTIVE, CONNECTION, AUTONOMY, and TONE.  If a business has high levels in each of these performance factors, then high performance can be achieved.

These two models have been introduced as separate concepts, but are they truly independent and have no effect upon each other?  Or are they much more connected than the separate boxes imply in the drawing above?

The basic answer is that they are very connected and you can use the elements in the Commitment  Culture model to build various aspects of High Performance.  In fact, there is a clear mapping of culture elements to performance elements that is worthy of detailed description.

For example, how can the Commitment Culture model be used to drive PERSPECTIVE in an organization?  If you want your team to have a comprehensive point of view as opposed to an individual or departmental point of view, what actions can be taken that give people inside a business a more whole-organization understanding?  Another example would be driving performance through increased AUTONOMY.  How can you use the Commitment Culture elements to provide each individual/each team what they need to perform at their highest level, independent of the performance of other teams?

In order to drive higher levels of PERSPECTIVE in an organization, it is necessary to provide an overall business context so that a comprehensive point of view can be developed.  This is accomplished from a cultural perspective by providing a thorough description MISSION and VISION.

Similarly, in order to drive for higher levels of AUTONOMY, it is necessary to provide information regarding the execution of the individual/team role.  The Culture Commitment elements that drive this are VISION and VALUES as indicated in the diagram.

VISION and VALUES descriptions also drive higher levels of CONNECTION and VALUES work also drive higher levels of TONE relative to organization performance.

Note there is not a one to one mapping of framework element to performance factor.  Using the AUTONOMY example, it is insufficient to simply discuss VISION to provide for independent, yet aligned action taking.  A much more thorough environment to drive AUTONOMY is provided when “what the business could be (where are we going together…) is complemented with “how do we conduct ourselves”, in other words VISION and VALUES.

Another interesting aspect of this model is that each Commitment Culture element is tied to multiple High Performance factors.  When you are describing business VISION, you are driving higher performance in PERSPECTIVE, CONNECTION, and AUTONOMY.  When you are detailing VALUES and behaviors for your organization, you are driving performance in CONNECTION, AUTONOMY and TONE.

Sharper Counsel LLC is an executive short term assignment company dedicated to the improvement of high potential businesses.  In short, we do BUSINESS TUNEUPS.

We provide management consulting to accomplish business and organization assessments.  We specialize in business development and business process management and are one of the up and coming consulting firms in San Diego.  Our team is always eager to help you improve your business, so…

Give us a call today at 800-280-2452 !

Introducing the PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK

 

The Strategic Cascade Series introduced and described a list of elements that describe a business and how it operates to meet business needs.  The High Performance series discusses requirements to achieve performance in an organization at individual and group levels.  In this Performance Framework series, these two models are merged and relationships established to tie these very different concepts together.  In particular, the use of the Strategic Cascade elements to drive High Performance factors is discussed in depth.

The Strategic Cascade is a six element framework for describing a business.  These six elements are MISSION, OBJECTIVES, STRATEGY, STRUCTURE, PROCESSES, and METRICS.  If a business does a good job of describing each of these framework elements and brings them into alignment with each other, then high performance can be achieved.  The High Performance model is a four element model consisting of PERSPECTIVE, CONNECTION, AUTONOMY, and TONE.  If a business has high levels in each of these performance factors, then high performance can be achieved.

These two models have been introduced as separate concepts, but how do they relate?  Are they truly independent and have no effect upon each other?  Or are they much more connected than the separate boxes imply in the drawing above?

The basic answer is that they are very connected and if you are striving for high performance in your business you can use the elements in the Strategic Cascade to build various aspects of High Performance.  In fact, there is a clear mapping of framework elements to performance elements that is worthy of detailed description.

For example, how can the Strategic Cascade be used to drive PERSPECTIVE in an organization?  If you want your team to have a comprehensive point of view as opposed to an individual or departmental point of view, what actions can be taken that give people inside a business a more whole-organization understanding?  Another example would be driving performance through increased AUTONOMY.  How can you use the Strategic Cascade elements to provide each individual/each team what they need to perform at their highest level independent of the performance of other teams, yet recognizing that business does not succeed only through individual/team heroics? 

The following diagram provides insights into the answers to the previous questions:

In order to drive higher levels of PERSPECTIVE in an organization, it is necessary to provide an overall business context so that a comprehensive point of view can be developed.  This is accomplished by providing a thorough description of MISSION, OBJECTIVES, and STRATEGY. 

Similarly, in order to drive for higher levels of AUTONOMY, it is necessary to provide information regarding the execution of the individual/team role.  The Strategic Cascade elements that drive this are STRATEGY, STRUCTURE, and PROCESSES as indicated in the diagram.

Each of the performance factors are linked to framework elements in cascading fashion.  The arrows missing in the figure above are:  OBJECTIVES, STRATEGY, and STRUCTURE drive higher levels of CONNECTION and STRUCTURE, PROCESSES, and METRICS drive higher levels of TONE.

Note there is not a one to one mapping of framework element to performance factor.  Using the PERSPECTIVE example, it is insufficient to simply discuss MISSION to provide a comprehensive point of view.  A much more thorough PERSPECTIVE is provided when “what the business does” is supported by “goals to be accomplished” and “how we will pursue those goals”; in other words MISSION, OBJECTIVES, and STRATEGY.

Another interesting aspect of this model is that each Strategic Cascade element is tied to multiple High Performance factors.  When you are describing business STRATEGY, you are driving higher performance in PERSPECTIVE, CONNECTION, and AUTONOMY.  When you are detailing PROCESSES for your organization, you are driving higher performance in AUTONOMY and TONE.

Sharper Counsel LLC is an executive short term assignment company dedicated to the improvement of high potential businesses.  In short, we do BUSINESS TUNEUPS.

We provide management consulting to accomplish business and organization assessments.  We specialize in business development and business process management and are one of the up and coming consulting firms in San Diego.  Our team is always eager to help you improve your business, so…

Give us a call today at 800-280-2452 !

Graph Expo 2011

Welcome back to McCormick Place in Chicago Illinois for yet another great printing exposition.  A gathering of thousands of printing related companies all showing off their capabilities and trying to build their business in spote of an industry that’s down 25% in the last few years.

The Graph Expo Show daily claimed there were over 1000 new products being introduced at the show and after spend a few days roaming the aisles, I believe it!  Every booth had new things to show and it seemed as if everyone was running a show special.

Many of the companies and several of the conferences pointed to an industry trend that is migrating focus away from printing itself to the broader interests of marketing in general.  One session led by Howie Fenton of NAPL titled “Transforming from Print Service Provider to Marketing Service Provider…A Step by Step Roadmap” clearly described the need for re-positioning companies to address their customers larger needs around customer connection.

Xerox’s XMPIE solution is another great indicator of this trend away from printing itself to the broader issue around multi-channel marketing.  Xerox also showed a new product called uVideo that uses video templates infused with personalizable text areas that allow companies to extend there one-to-one marketing efforts online in very cool fashion.

Some of the more interesting new showings at Graph Expo were the new MemJet based products.  Based on technology being developed by Silverbrook in Australia, there are now three print engines being touted.  The first is a single head, five ink page-wide inkjet product aimed at mail printing that was introduced a year or more ago.  Go to Neopost/Rena to see this product.  At this year’s show, a label machine utilizing five each of the page wide heads to achieve high printing speeds on label stock was introduced in the Fast Technology Booth.  The third product was a prototype package printing machine aimed at flatbed printing of large format stock of various thicknesses.  This product was shown in the Xante booth and has great promise to take market shar in the years to come.

If you want to hear more about developments at Graph Expo 2011, give us a call at 800-280-2452 and we can hook you up to a live person for a discussion…

New Page Posted — OUR FOUNDER

Please refer to the menu above — “OUR COMPANY”, sub-menu “OUR FOUNDER” to find the following:

Jim Stewart is the founder and Executive Director of SHARPER COUNSEL LLC.  He has three decades of high tech industry experience and brings a wealth of management expertise to bear on the improvement of high potential businesses.

Jim’s role as COO for Loud Technologies was to oversee supply chain activities, bring new products to market, and facilitate company growth and profitability.  Jim helped Loud weather the recession of 2009/2010 through helping reduce cost structures by 30% and helping improve cash availability by tens of millions of dollars.  As a result of a contract manufacturer bankruptcy, he led a team to rebuild the supply chain for 150 models of music products, simultaneously launching them into eight different suppliers around the world. This activity, along with a distribution re-design to provide late-point differentiation for the most popular products, made his time at Loud challenging, interesting and substantially rewarding.

The majority of Jim’s career was spent at Hewlett-Packard, where his last role was as Vice President / General Manager of a “several hundred million dollar” printing business unit. This role had end-to-end responsibilities spanning from market identification / business development to technology / product development, to global marketing / sales. As a result of Jim’s leadership in this division, sales doubled and profits quadrupled and in the words of the HP CEO at the time “this business model must be replicated…”

Jim’s contributions to SHARPER COUNSEL clients are focused at executives and business unit leaders and he is particularly strong in high tech business development, organization assessment, and technology commercialization.  His various positions have brought a tremendous amount of international exposure, especially developing significant expertise around doing business in China and intellectual property protection.  Formally trained as an engineer, Jim has held positions in product development, operations, and general management.

National Postal Forum — San Diego Convention Center

 

Doesn’t take much to realize the power houses in the National Postal Forum Trade Show held in San Diego this week.  Pitney Bowes is big and obviously the United States Postal Service, which is what the show is centered on.  People may say that direct mail is dead, but if you look at your mailbox everyday, you may beg to differ.

This show is not a huge one, just a 100+ booths, but the traffic was pretty steady all week.  Lot’s of friends making reacquaintences and some new connections were to be had as well.

Color printing on the outside of envelopes continues to gain popularity — at least if you count available equipment types.  Everything from metering machines with a bit of add-on color to full envelope wide four color imaging with inkjet and laser.  Formats available run the gamut from stand alone desktop machines to inserter lines with full color printing features. 

The truth will be told on this part of the industry if we all start getting colorized envelopes at home.  Not so many coming my way that were not pre-printed, but it’s probably just a matter of time before it will become much, much more popular…

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