Power to the People

performance management

I’m starting my next MBA course tonight – “Performance Management”. Something about people being the most important part of the organization…something, something….human capital…something, competitive advantage…something. It all sounds a bit bizarre.

I’m kidding of course. People ARE what it’s all about. ‘People’ are often the differentiating factor (brand, among other things is important too, of course) when it comes to how organizations get contracted to do the work they do. People buy from people and they want to work with people that they know and trust. It is also people who then ultimately deliver the work – to implement (not to mention, plan, manage and support) the technology, business process improvement or what have you. (If you’re running an automated assembly line staffed with robots building other robots, this may be less relevant for you).

As such, organizations, at least the good ones, do more than just pay lip service to how they are “people focused”, since I can’t imagine too many companies that would claim to not be “people focused”. And getting it right is not just about salaries and foosball tables. It’s about understanding the needs of all of the individuals in the organization, since we are just that – individuals – to understand what drives each person to perform at their highest level. (Editorial note – I almost ended that sentence with something about getting the individuals to be stronger than the sum of their parts, but I didn’t. You’re welcome). It’s also very much about getting ‘alignment’ (overused term alert – sorry!) between the individuals, teams, business units etc. and the strategic goals of the organization.

So anyway, these are a few opening thoughts as I start this course. I’m sure I’ll have more to report over the next couple of months. Stay tuned.

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