I’m about to insult lawyers.
The rest of you – you needn’t cheer quite so raucously. I only choose to use lawyers as an example of a highly trained group of professionals, skilled and experienced in what they do and good at their multi-faceted jobs, but because of that, think that they can self-handle other aspects of their business where different specialist skills and experience are required.
I could have chosen accountants, or doctors, or engineers (there, some of you are not so comfortable now are you?).
One of my clients is a firm of commercial lawyers specialising in insolvency. In their business they run the constant risk that their clients cannot pay. To give them their due they always perform at their best and never stint on service, despite this possibility, but now and then, they get caught.
In one such instance they worked for an owner of advertising billboards scattered around the suburbs. Having satisfactorily won the case for their client they found that the client is cash strapped and unable to pay them, asking for a payment plan over a year or so. Clearly not a good situation. The senior partner, true to the entrepreneurial spirit of the firm then negotiated a contra arrangement where they get to use two billboards and paste up advertising for the law firm over a year. In this way a $20,000 doubtful debt is used to gain $40,000 worth of billboard advertising – quite an advantage? Read More
Harvard Business School change management guru John Kotter outlines the fundamental differences between Leadership and Management as follows:-
– Establishing direction vs Planning & Budgeting
– Aligning people vs Organising and staffing…
– Motivating & inspiring vs Controlling & Problem-solving.
In Kotter’s view, while management produces an order of predictability, order, and the capacity to attain desired short term targets, the qualities of Leadership prodeuces change, often to a dramatic degree and often potentially useful change to create a future vision.
In my consulting, I use my own process called vision-driven planning, first creating a vision for the group (in great detail, to the degree that it is internally viable and credible) which is then quantified through a Balanced Scorecard approach (“If we were to achieve our vision, how must we look and behave in the area of…”). The quantification of the vision is converted into Performance Measures, and then these are redirected as Strategies. Read More
The following appears in “Implementing an Effective Change Management Strategy” by Neryl East, MA, PhD, published by the Ark Group in association with Inside Knowledge.
While it might be admirable for organisations to strive to be resilient, change and strategic management specialist Teik Oh says resilience is not the end of the journey. Resilience is an element that needs to be embedded in the culture of the business.
He believes that can only be achieved if the organisation and its leadership demonstrate some fundamental behaviour that point to resilience.
Resilience is not only important in the hard times or during change. It must also be demonstrated when business is going well. That can be a challenge for many leaders, who Oh says are generally suited to only one style of an economy.
Many perform well when the economy is also doing well. Other leaders rise to the challenge when the economy does badly; Oh points out that it is relatively easy to think of great leaders who have turned companies around. However, they may not have been so successful when the business was back on track. Read More
Implementing Performance Measures
Determining what to measure can take considerable effort, but it will probably be less than one-third of the total effort required to implement an efficient and effective measurement system. Data collection and processing systems will have to be implemented to produce the measures; everyone will have to be trained in using the systems and measures; and as the measures are used, some problems are sure to be identified that will require changes to the system.
Perhaps the greatest challenge faced when implementing performance measurement systems is changing an organisation’s culture. Using performance measures requires managers and employees to change the way they think and act. For most people, this is relatively easy, but for some, changing old beliefs and habits is very difficult.
Overcoming such problems requires strong leadership to provide appropriate direction and support. The best measurement system in the world will yield few benefits if the right knowledge, skills, abilities, and values are not developed in a company. An organisation doesn’t just interface with a measurement system; it is part of the system. Read More