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Do Your KPIs Pass the Ultimate Test?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a vital part of any management team's toolkit. Get them right and KPIs can help you to lead your team to victory and success. Get them wrong and they suck up time and resources and frustrate all of those that are involved with the activity. I was working with a team the other week and they had come up with about twenty different KPIs they could use for their function and they were getting stuck as to how to proceed. I asked them to test their measures against the ultimate test: "Can you use the KPIs to make management decisions?" Great KPIs can help you make swift decisions that affect the outcomes for your business. Effective metrics allow you to keep the standards you need in your business in place. Well thought through measures guide and support your thinking, making you more effective and efficient as a manager. The team I worked with applied this simple test and eliminated pointless metrics, enhanced oth

How to Write a Book Using the 100 Words a Day Challenge(!)

For those of you that are regulars to this website, you will know that I have recently published my next book - What Does Good Look Like? The purpose of this post is to explain how I wrote the book when I was already up to my eyeballs with consulting projects, a busy home life and some voluntary work thrown into the mix. Clients and friends have asked me in the last few weeks " How do you have time to write another book? " The short answer is that I am the same as pretty much everyone - I don't have time to write a book! Available for Kindle and in paperback That's where our good old friend Kaizen comes in. I didn't write a book; I created my own 100 words a day challenge. Writing a book - I don't have time for that! Writing 100 words a day - how could I fail? If you haven't come across the Kaizen method before it is a brilliant approach to break big challenges down into tiny bite size chunks. The real power of Kaizen is to avoid triggering

First Official Review of 'What Does Good Look Like?'

My new book What Does Good Look Like?  has now received its first official review: innovate risk wrote on the 20th of October: Available in paperback and on Kindle "Quite simply I have bought 3 more copies of this book to provide to members of my team. For too long, the focus of consultants and advisors has been on "define the problem" and then resolve, but to me that was always missing the real point. The real point is to define "what good looks like", or "what awesome looks like" as per Giles. This book hits this exact point between the eyes and I thoroughly recommend reading this quick and easy book. The techniques provided are simple but most importantly easy to understand and undertake. We need to move away from defining the problem, to defining what "good looks like" for our customers and our people." (This quote was taken from ) To get your copy of the book c

Have You Defined Your Performance Principles?

Get your copy today Available from Amazon and iTunes When we experience the day to day frustrations of our team not working in the way that we want them to we have a few options: We can shout at them and tell them that their work isn't good enough. We can try and figure out why their work isn't good enough and try to help them improve. We can articulate what good looks like and help share with them some principles we want them to work to. The last point, sharing with them the principles of how you want your team to run, can be invaluable not just for your under-performing team members but for the wider business. Let me give you an example. I worked with a business that was struggling to keep up with their client projects. We looked at a number of their failings and came up with handful of 'performance principles' that included: We don't do surprises - if something bad happens tell your team mates immediately and work on a plan together. Wal

New Book - Free Today on Kindle - What Does Good Look Like?

My new book What Does Good Look Like?  has just been released and is available for free this weekend on the Amazon Kindle   platform (note - you don't need a Kindle device to read the book). The promotion runs from 12:00AM PDT on the 12th October, for three days. This book is a must for any organisation that has defined a big picture vision for their business but fails to see that vision translate into practical, meaningful, day-to-day activities. Many businesses fail to ask the question 'what does good look like?' for a wide range of processes, standards and behaviours and get frustrated that the follow up actions don't get the results that they wanted. This book is split up into two main sections: Part One - provides four methods to help define what good looks like for your business, even if you are not entirely sure yourself. Part Two - offers methods and ideas to help you deliver a practical improvement plan that develop the right kind of habits to

Continuous Improvement - spotting the generic issues when everything seems different (every time)

Do your continuous improvement ideas get shot down because people say: "It's different every time!" I find that this is a common response across many different businesses that deliver projects and /or don't have their own line of products. In this situation I feel that the above response is largely down to the fact that people get embroiled in the nitty-gritty of their work that they can't see the process sitting in the background. The truth is that if you look past the detail of the task in hand, should it be prone to variations, you will see generic activities behind it. These generic activities are the ones that you can focus on to improve the results of every 'variation' that then goes through your process. Just because every project, product or service running through your business is different to the last one doesn't mean that there aren't opportunities for improvement sitting there. There will be similarities between projects and d

Helping Your Teams to Spot Improvement Opportunities

I chatted with a production team the other day about ways in which we could improve their performance . They had recently overcome some major operational issues but still weren't in a place that they needed to be. We overcame the awkwardness of the conversation by talking about the overall ambitions of the business and the relevance to them and then got talking about general performance improvement. Available from Amazon and iTunes At first the conversation was really stilted because, for them, where do you start? This is a challenge for all management and leadership to overcome, helping your teams to see the opportunities for improvement and then helping them to help themselves get past this sticking point into action. In this particular conversation I split up the ambitions of the business into multiple areas. Each area was small enough to have a meaningful discussion around it that naturally generated a range of improvement opportunities for the team. Breaking big pictur