Executive Coaching & Development, Leadership Training, Strategic Planning & More | Chicago, IL | Primer Michaels
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Category: Newsletters

Performance Management is NOT Execution Management

Click here to download an exercise for your Senior Leadership Team.

Performance management and execution management are very different. In short, performance management is not execution management. They’re two separate entities with some overlap. I just came from giving a speech to about sixty senior executives who are all leading organizations throughout the Midwest, and there was a lot of confusion between Performance Management and Execution Management. So let’s compare & contrast them across five different areas: Ownership, focus, linkage, measurement of success, and monitoring.

Performance management first. The ownership of performance management is with human resources. They own the process. The focus is on individuals throughout the organization, and the linkage is to their professional development goals, competencies, and talent development. The measure of success is the achievement of their performance appraisal goals. And, the monitoring of it is static – most usually on an annual basis.

For the vast majority of people in the room just this morning, about 80% of them gave the review process annually. About 15% or so did it every six months, and there were actually four people in the room who raised their hands and said they don’t even have any review process. The risk is, this confusion causes a problem with execution management. They think they have execution management covered, and they don’t.

So let’s now contrast this with execution management. First, and foremost, ownership of execution management is with the senior leader. And that is because they own the goals, the strategic plan, and the key initiatives for their organization.

Quite often, when senior leaders initiate contact with us to talk about execution management, they want to have human resources at the table, which is fine with us. They could also have the CFO, the CIO, the CMO, and the COO. And it’s fine if they do. When we ask why HR, the most pervasive reason is they think HR is going to own the process, until we ask them who owns the goals of the company. And, of course, say they do. So once they get that distinction, then we generally meet with just them.

The ownership for execution management belongs to the senior leader. The focus is on the organization, whereas on performance management, it’s on individuals. The linkage for execution management is to the initiatives, the strategic plan, the annual plan, the visionary goals of the company. And again, for performance management, it’s the competencies and goals of individuals.

The measurement of success for execution management is the achievement of organizational initiatives, or the achievement of the strategic plan, the achievement of their goals. And the monitoring is done at least quarterly – every three months, at the very least. We get a lot of push back on this, until they go through a year of that process, and then they take the affirmative step to have those reviews once every other month so they can answer the question, “Where are we now vs. where we hope to be?”, and make adjustments and determine next steps.

So HR is not going to tell senior leaders the difference between these two. For the most part, HR doesn’t understand it, and when they do, their noble intent is to want to own the process. And the fact is, they don’t. It belongs to senior leaders.

Category: Newsletters

WEBINAR: 18 Minutes to Beat the Odds in Strategy Execution

November 2012 News Release 

When you’re fighting to execute strategic plans, the odds just aren’t in your favor. Everyone knows that as many as 85% of organizations are really skilled at developing business strategies but not so adept when it’s time to execute.

The thing that’s hard to wrap our heads around, though, is why the odds are stacked so staggeringly against us.
In Part 1 of our on-demand webinar series, we tackle the Why, What, When, How and Who of failed strategic plan implementation.
In this 18-minute on-demand webinar you’ll learn:

  • Why more than 85% of strategic & annual plans aren’t executed
  • What causes these failures
  • The key elements of strategy-driven execution management
  • Tips for leaders to improve the chances of execution success
  • How to ensure strong accountability

Join Beth Michaels, President of Primer Michaels, as she explores the pitfalls and best practices of plan execution. Watch our webinar NOW.


Category: Newsletters

Top Leaders Ride the Wave to Achieve Organizational Goals

October 2012 News Release

Effective leaders are similar to experienced surfers who have mastered the art of wave riding. Like a surfer glides in front of a wave and surges ahead from its force, a great leader achieves buoyancy and momentum from a team that he or she steers toward organizational goals.

To stay in front of the wave, leaders must oversee six essential areas that are vital to achieving success.

Discover the key areas where leaders must perform optimally to continually meet organizational goals.

Category: Newsletters

Plan a Strategic Breakthrough

September 2012 News Release

Strategic planning is one of the most difficult and dreaded executive tasks due to its high failure rate. The glitches happen in the execution phase when 80 percent of all companies fail to fully roll out their plans.

Strategic planning becomes effective through efficient implementation. With proven, replicable processes to establish goals and unify employees, executives can achieve leadership breakthroughs that ensure the success of their plans.

Read on for more information about how Primer Michaels helps companies put effective strategic plans into action.

Category: Newsletters

Strong Leadership Teams are the Keys to Growth

August 2012 News Release

Disorganized leadership teams tend to falter when opportunity knocks. When there is dissonance within the team, members can easily become disheartened and distracted from the critical steps they need to take on the path to their goal.

Cohesive leadership teams drive growth and success for their organizations. When teammates work in harmony and openly communicate about milestones, progress and setbacks, they are able to stay motivated and focused on the strategies they need to stay on track and achieve their desired outcomes.

Learn more about team building best practices and discover the traits of winning teams.

Category: Newsletters

From Thwarted to Thriving – Get This Year’s Goals Back on Track

July 2012 News Release

If you find that this year’s organizational goals aren’t really going anywhere, it might be company culture holding you back.

It’s a common struggle, even for best-in-class companies, to align corporate goals with everyday tasks and priorities.

Culture change is definitely difficult, but we’ve outlined three steps you can take to make the smooth transition from thwarted to thriving.


Category: Newsletters

Is your leadership team effective enough to hit this year’s goals?

June 2012 News Release

On a scale of 1 to 10, how effective is your team?

Leadership team dynamics are insightful indicators of an organization’s success or failure. In spite of brilliance or vision, no single person can put an entire company on it’s back and carry it to prominence and profitability. It all depends on the leadership team to drive accountability through the entire organization.

Unfortunately, in many companies, leadership team dysfunction is the cause of problems that trickle through all levels of the organization to prevent success.

Watch this brief video to identify three main causes of leadership team dysfunction and some best practices for addressing them.


Category: Newsletters

Successful strategy execution at the C-Level

May 2012 News Release

Does this sound familiar?

The C-suite creates the plan, defines the annual goals, delegates it to their management team and says “GO”. Six months later, they learn that little to no progress has been made. The management team has been “fighting fires” and dealing with the daily distractions and simply has not made progress on the plan.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. 80 percent of organizations fail to execute their strategies. Why?

Click to watch a brief video on this important topic.