Quiet by Susan Cain & Taking People With You by David Novak - for the March First Friday Book Synopsis
For the March First Friday Book Synopsis, we have selected two terrific books. With each presentation, you will receive a multi-page, useful handout, which you can follow as you listen to our presentations.
Karl Krayer will present a synopsis of Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen by David Novak.
And I will present a synopsis of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
Both of these books are well reviewed, and offer genuinely useful counsel to all of us seeking business effectiveness and success.
These gatherings are fast paced, filled with content, and provide great networking opportunities — and a wonderful full breakfast buffet, with a made-to-order omelet bar.
If you are in the DFW area on March 2, 7:00 am, come join us. (You will be able to register soon through the “register now” button on the home page of our web site).
Here is a flier with all the details:
In a book published in 1996, The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy Into Action, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton developed in much greater depth and detail a concept they introduced previously in an HBR article (January/February, 1992): the balanced scorecard. As they explain in their Preface, “the Balanced Scorecard [BSC] evolved from an improved measurement system to an improved management system.”
The distinction is critically important to understanding this book as well as The Strategy-Focused Organization which they later wrote. Senior executives in various companies have since used the Balanced Scorecard as the central organizing framework for important managerial processes such as individual and team goal setting, compensation, resource allocation, budgeting and planning, and strategic feedback and learning. When writing this book, it was the authors’ hope that the observations they share would help more executives to launch and implement Balanced Scorecard programs in their own organizations.
As explained in the book’s Appendix, “Building a Balanced Scorecard,” That process consists of a series of specific “tasks”: (1) selection of the appropriate organizational unit, (2) identification of the SBU/corporate linkages, (3) completion of the first round of interviews during which key executives are briefed on the Balanced Scorecard program, (4) evaluation by the program’s “architect” and other members of design team of feedback from various interviews, (5) conducting a “first round” workshop for the top management team, (6) conducting meetings during which the “architect” works with several subgroups, (7) conducting a “second round” workshop for members of the top management team, their direct subordinates, and an appropriate number of middle managers, (8) formulating the implementation plan, (9) conducting the “third round” workshop, and finally (10) Finalizing the implementation plan.
In terms of using a Balanced Scorecard, here is what Jeremy Hope and Steve Player recommend.
Actions to Avoid
o Avoid key performance indicator (KPI) scorecards.
o Don’t cascade scorecards down or aggregate scorecards up the organization.
o Stop using the scorecard as another tool of command and control.
o Stop basing the scorecard process on annual targets and measures.
o Remember that strategy is more about innovation and initiative than incremental improvement.
o Avoid a collision with the budget.
o Stop forcing cross-company coordination.
o Avoid using too many measures.
o Following the order of strategy or purpose-measurement-goal-action.
o Don’t rush into using personal scorecards.
o Don’t rush into linking incentives to scorecard goals and measures.
o Don’t assume a verifiable link between nonfinancial indicators and financial results.
Actions to Take
1. Use corporate scorecards to set directional goals.
2. Translate rather than cascade goals, metrics, and actions.
3. Use the scorecard to empower teams.
4. Use the scorecard to define a team’s success
5. Use the scorecard to set ambitious [i.e. “Stretch,” BHAG] goals.
6. Use the scorecard to find key value drivers.
7. Use the scorecard to find the best KPIs.
8. Use the scorecard to derive action plans.
9. Add perspectives if it makes sense.
10. Ensure that data are accessible, clean, and accurate.
11. Engage everyone in the scorecard process.
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For a thorough discussion of the Balanced Scorecard and 39 other major business topics, I highly recommend Hope and Player’s Beyond Performance Measurement: Why, When, and How to use 40 Tools and Best practices for Superior Business Performance, published by Harvard Review Press (February, 2012).
Here is an excerpt from an article written by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer for the Harvard Business Review blog. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, and sign up for a subscription to HBR email alerts, please click here.
Artwork: The Big Mobile (2004), 3rd Biennial of Contemporary Art of Valencia
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People can’t do their most productive, creative work unless they are highly engaged in their projects. According to the progress principle, of all the events that can keep people engaged and happy at work, the most important is simply making progress on meaningful work. The progress can be great or small, and the meaning can be as noble as trying to cure diabetes or as common as providing a useful service to a customer.
There is a dark side to the progress principle. Of all events that can destroy engagement, joy, and productivity at work, having setbacks or being stalled in the work is number one. Our research revealed that, on 76% of peoples’ very best days — days in which they were happy and highly engaged — they had made some degree of progress in the work; only 13% of those best days had setbacks. By contrast, only 25% of people’s worst days showed any progress, while 67% had setbacks. Even worse, the negative effect of setbacks on engagement is two-to-three times the positive effects of progress.
The obvious lesson for managers is that they should do everything in their power to support the daily progress of their workers, and reduce impediments to progress as much as possible. But there will always be setbacks. The innovative work that contemporary organizations need for survival is often hard and complicated, so problems are inevitable. What can a manager do to keep people engaged, productive and creative when things do go wrong? Here [is one of] three suggestions:
First, don’t treat setbacks as failures, but rather as challenges and learning opportunities. It is common wisdom that we learn from our mistakes, but too many managers seem to forget this and try to assign blame when things go wrong. Listen to the words of Alvin, one of the 238 participants who took part in our research:
“So far every solution I’ve developed for this project does not meet with the cost constraints. I’m becoming very frustrated with not finding the acceptable answer. Around here, not finding a solution is perceived as not being competent!”
Clearly, Alvin had a difficult problem to solve, but rather than being able to sense any forward progress, he was beaten down and made to feel incompetent. Contrast this quote from Tim, who worked for a different company with a very different attitude about setbacks:
“I showed the project manager the results I got and told him that there was a mistake in one of the trials. He said that is all right, as long as we know what we did.”
In the end, Tim and his team had a stunning success, while Alvin and his team never found an acceptable answer.
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To read the complete article, please click here.
Teresa Amabile is Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She researches what makes people creative, productive, happy, and motivated at work. Steven Kramer is a psychologist and independent researcher. They are coauthors of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011).