Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Art of Performance Management

I'm interested in work-enjoyment. Always have been I think. It might be due to seeing how much intrinsic satisfaction my dad got from his work. If we are going to spend so much of our waking hours working, it would be nice to enjoy it. Most people don't. Lots of reasons why.

One (unnecessary) reason why we don't like work is when we are mismanaged. Happens all the time. Managers are busy. Very busy. They are too busy to spend time with the individuals on their teams.

Ironic when you consider the role of a manager is to 'get work done through others'.

Managing is also difficult. Most of us stumble through it, honing our skills over time. As part of a project recently, I wrote some principles and practices that I try to stick to. Most of this is commonsense but I've borrowed ideas, techniques and insights from Larry Bossidy, Steve Kerr, Jack Welch, and James Kilts among others. And of course from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

I've tried to keep it practical, with an example at the end showing how objectives might be written. I've discovered (after too long) that getting a process is key to good performance management. It is time consuming in the beginning, but only in the beginning.

I've called it The Art of Performance Management, acknowledging that management is more art than science.

You can download the 6-page pdf here. Feedback (good, bad, random insults etc) is welcome.

21 comments:

Conor Byrne said...

Im just impressed by the title and the fact its 6 pages long!!

When I read it I will, of course, let you know what I think of the actual content!

Neasa said...

Thanks for sharing. I really liked the point about communicating the big picture and making sure everyone knows where their role fits in.
And that's the first time I've come across the term "tight loose management" but it definitely sums up the style I prefer, from both perspectives.



I think both these insights could probably be carried over to the client/media agency/creative agency/digital agency relationships too and the briefing process for campaigns. A sense of where each party fits in, clear and specific expectations set upfront - and then some freedom to create.

Paul Dervan said...

thanks guys. Think I first read the phrase in James Kilts' book.

Yes, it is probably the same for client/agency relationships. Good book on agencies working together called Space Race by Jim Taylor. Worth a read if you haven't already

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