All posts by Vipul Mathur

The ABC of Performance

 

winning

Ram Charan wrote in his book execution – the future companies are the ones who will execute well in Strategy, People, and Operations. While strategy and operations are very well defined the challenge has always been in the crucial link “people” – aligning them is the key to organizational success.

Performance Management is a subject where sometimes process’ overwrite people and culture. And somehow we create an environment wherein performance of an individual is judged like a Miss Universe pageant, where you are asked the most clichéd question – why should you be the miss universe and the participants compete how they posses superpowers to heal the world.

 

With so much cacophony around performance management – at qilo we call it performance enablement, the organizations have to first create an ecosystem for an individual to perform and we call it performance ABC driving attitudes, behaviors, and capability.

 

Even if you have best your strategy and process’ in place if your people do not have the right attitude display the right behaviors and are capable to execute their role – growth will never happen.

 

I have heard a lot of leaders talking about lack of readiness in their organization – actually it’s not readiness its fear of change and fuzzy vision of future.

 

So what should be done? My learning so far.

 

1)   Question the design of the performance management framework – it is meant to build leaderboards or create an ecosystem for people to perform

2)   Keep it simple – Business imperatives (strategic) next the role I play in achieving them and how I am doing it

3)   Pay for potential – Build the team that will take you to achieve success in future or lives in the past glory?

4)   Feedback – Tell me how can I improve and do my job better now! Not when I have done it

5)   One size does not fit all – Try to make your performance design align to people, not a stiff upper lip

6)   It’s not a checklist – Do not run a process just for the heck of running it, define the core why you need to do it?

7)   Enroll people not force them into a process – enrollment has larger powers and drives accountability

8)   Start from the top – leaders have to walk the talk, there is simply no way out

9)   Highlight and showcase the positive behaviors even if they are low in numbers glorify them for others to see and follow

10) Make it transparent – there is nothing grey here – it should be either black or white

 

Bring the change now, if you don’t your competitor will.

 

Power of intent

Intent

Dreams, Vision, Strategy and Plans, all fail…. if you do not have the right intent!

An intent is the most powerful thing in the universe. Before anything comes your intent. You need to be honest and genuine in declaring your intent and the universe will work towards it to make it happen.

While we all agree to the power of intent, the paradox is we do not follow the same, when we run our organizations.

Leaders have to announce their intent and ensure to make it loud. Once you do that, magic will happen – your teams will be connected with you. They will work collectively and purposefully in making your intent happen!

Leaders normally focus more on achievements, not on their intent – why are they doing what they are doing and most importantly, what is the intent?

Yesterday I was having a discussion with a CEO and his intent was to make substantial revenues to fund his social venture. And my question to him was has he announced this intent with the team? And the answer was no.

Intent sometimes gets mislead by vision, goals. Actually, it’s the statement you make to the universe at a consciousness level and if you are genuine and honest you will for sure unlock the power of the universe.

Sometimes our reasonable self-becomes our dominant personality. And we start putting logics, connecting the dots and overthinking. Actually, all we need to do is answer a simple question, what’s your intent?

Intent comes from your consciousness not from your brain and at that level you are the clearest and transparent.

With intent comes the purpose, which binds everyone together and everyone starts exhibiting ownership and accountability behaviours.

So, announce your intent to your team next when you speak and see the magic unfolds.

 

It’s Beyond Hari Saadoo

Who can forget Hari Saado of Naukri.com, it creatively stamped that people, don’t leave organisations, they leave their manager.

Leading research by Gallup. In one study of 7,272 U.S. adults, it found that 50 percent of employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”

But there is another important dimension to this relationship, which is organisation performance. An individual’s performance has a high correlation with the relationship with one’s manager. Stronger the relationships, higher are the chances of achievement.

qilo’s research on work place culture nails leadership as the most critical dimension for a performance based work culture

Relationship with the manager is not of a buddy but of a coach or a leader. Empathy, Clarity of strategy, Communication, Teams Wellbeing, Technical skills, Acknowledgement, Trust and constructive feedback are some of the critical competencies required in a manager. And they form building blocks of the relationship

If these are lacking between manager and team members, your organisation is bound to be on a downhill.

Create a managerial effectiveness score – which is a factor of the leadership competencies, from the lenses of the team members. And this should be one of the Lead indicators for your business.

Low managerial effectiveness score leads to delayed performance achievement or low performance, conflicts, lack of creativity, accountability and most important low participation and belongingness.

For the leaders, it becomes imperative to gauge the depth of the iceberg. And incorporate this indicator in the business dashboards.

 

So next time, when you are doing business review ask for managers effectiveness score also.

Are Machines killing intuition?

I just read an article – GPS is making our brain dull!!

Well, one of the many technology invasions happing in our lives, killing our intuitive power.

The confidence of old famous “Gut” or “Intuition” is just not there, imagine the impact on decision making without technology.

Look at this scenario in our everyday life, we have drilled down more in excel than the centre of the earth and we rely on machines to take the decision, even if our intuitive power say’s no.

Is this Cognitive Apocalypse?

Machines are learning faster than humans. Their computing abilities are growing at an exponential pace and human brain is getting lazier

Machines have to aid decision-making, not take decisions. Too much reliability is impacting the quality of leadership. What differentiates leaders from managers, is the not just the ability to build beliefs but also on the speed of decision making and owning them. And if machines will be making decisions just imagine who will be the future leader?

It’s imperative for all of us to strike the right balance. At an organisation level if we are trying to build a culture of innovation, first we need to fuel a Cognitive revolution at workplace. The way we think, feel and do, else we would be just doing transactions.

Remember 2007, 20-20 world cup last over, Dhoni giving the ball to Joginder Sharma, I am sure no machine would have predicted that 🙂

Human

Enable a productive environment to perform.

When it comes to performance and productivity, measurement is the word which pops ups. What about enablement?

Creating an environment to perform is the investment we need to make- measurement is an outcome.

Taking a cue from India’s participation and results in Olympics, the discussion is always on the number of medals not on building an ecosystem, which enables performance.

Similarly, in teams, today review conversions have superseded coaching conversations. Which leads to transactions, not value! The questions we have to ask -are we enabling performance of our team members or just measuring outcome?

At qilo, we did a work place culture study, wherein we asked people what does it take you to perform in an organisation. Two most important factors and dimensions, which came out, were alignment and coaching.

Clear direction, defined roles and continuous coaching and feedback enable performance. Critical areas we miss out in while driving and focusing on transactions.

Performance measurement is an output – Enablement is an input.

Focus on input outcome will definitely be great!

Wise Man – Home Sapiens

Flipping pages of Yuval Noah’s Spaiens made me realise; one of the primary reasons for humans to survive has been hunger of constant evolution and to become a dominant race

Adapting with changing times, identifying threats and innovating survival strategies. Our agility and responsiveness towards constant evolution have ensured our survival for long. These traits have become part of consciousness and DNA

However, when we try to map these to organisation’s DNA – which is the culture. In some cases, it does not map with the DNA of the wise men.

Suddenly evolution becomes an effort and teams are too lazy to change. The hunger to become a dominant force get’s overpowered by complacency and mediocrity. Till the time we do not get a threat of extinction, we keep on procrastinating.

But, the organisations, which challenges the legacy, work’s for the future readiness, acknowledges evolution and drives these behaviours as a way of life – Performs and evolves. Rest all survives till the time they can.

Build organisations’, which performs and evolves or get ready to be extinct!