The promise of growth-driven performance management is that by understanding and implementing the approach, an organization will be enabled to not only experience true value out of their business information but to capitalize on it.
Certainly, adopting a growth-driven approach to performance management isn’t limited to the finance department. Leaders within every business unit can adopt the philosophy and apply it for powerful results. However, the first step to successfully implementing a performance management focus is to start by understanding what it involves. In this case, “growth-driven” centers on a desire to improve and excel. This can most easily be seen in each of the following foundations.
The Foundations of a Growth-Driven Approach
This is more than just the usual “positive” mindset that is often referenced in company growth articles. A growth-driven mindset moves past the reactive, regressive approach to performance management and into something more predictive and responsive.
From an information perspective, this is easily demonstrated with KPIs. Rather than historical presentations of how the business did in the past, the growth-driven leader is focused on leading indicators that are indicators of opportunity or risk. By getting ahead of problems, they can course correct and ensure a smooth, upward climb.
When an organization is full of growth-driven leaders, it is a positive environment where there is usually sufficient time to analyze KPIs and make important decisions. There is a calm “we can handle anything” feeling throughout the organization.
While mindset is critical to success—and is often the impetus for improvement—it cannot create success on its own. Two other foundations are needed for a secure base.
The process foundation centers on the activities of the business and how information and transactions move throughout the organization. When people are hampered by slow, arduous, or error-prone processes, they are unable to focus on growth and instead just try to survive.
This concept can best be illustrated by organizations that rely heavily on static spreadsheets for information gathering, analysis, and sharing. Creating, maintaining, and updating spreadsheets is time-consuming and prone to error. Those errors lead to a lack confidence, which slows decision making and reaction time. And of course, static spreadsheets are full of fixed, dead data, so decisions are being based on historical results.
Developing a process foundation requires understanding and improving processes throughout the organization so that everything runs smoothly and the staff has confidence that they can react effectively.
Good processes and a positive mindset are enabled for success by the technology foundation. Businesses survive and thrive with the aid of performance management tools. But they aren’t all created equally.
A solid technology foundation requires a robust and innate understanding of the source systems. Without the proper lens, the technology just becomes another burden on the process foundation as everyone has to extract, reformat, tweak, and adjust results. In short, the technology must turn raw data into actionable insights.
In addition to a purpose-built connection and understanding of the data, the technology must allow for friendly, powerful interaction. To support the growth-driven mindset, users must be able to link and visualize real-time results. Their naturally inquisitive and problem-solving mentality demands self-service with a strong tie to their critical business systems, especially the ERP.
By recognizing these foundations, you can develop programs and reward employees—especially leaders—who are demonstrating them. The right technology will smooth and simplify processes and further enable those with the growth-driven mindset.
Unlike traditional approaches to performance management, growth-driven performance management is holistic, bringing together people, process, and technology in order to accelerate growth.