Mark Graham Brown

Flying an aircraft is a nearly perfect performance management system. First of all, there is always a detailed flight plan so the pilots know the route, destination and are alerted to any weather or airport delay issues. Pilots themselves are thoroughly screened and receive excellent training. They are provided with adequate fuel, hopefully a well maintained aircraft, and other resources like coffee and food. Cockpits … [ Read more ]

David Axson

There are three questions that a finance executive should always be able to answer when they sit down with a business leader:

1. The first question is, what happened? We’re pretty good at that in finance. We can calculate the actuals and say, “Sales are off 15%.”
2. The second question that always follows right on the heels of the first is: Why did that happen? We’re … [ Read more ]

Gary Cokins

When measures are displayed in isolation of each other rather than with a chain of cause-and-effect linkages, then one cannot analyze how much influencing measures affect influenced measures. This is more than just leading indicators and lagging indicators. Those are timing relationships. A balanced scorecard reports the causal linkages, and its key performance indicators (KPIs) should be derived from a strategy map. Any strategic measurement … [ Read more ]

David Greenberg

The future of risk management lies in an ability to incorporate and inspire more of the behaviors we want, finding new models to map, monitor, intervene, support, and react to the behaviors of individuals and groups—both the behaviors we want to encourage and those we’d like to avoid. Critically, this taking account of behavior means that we need a much sharper comprehensive strategy for corporate … [ Read more ]

Frank Buytendijk

While most companies find these four perspectives to be sufficient and logical, there’s no rule that says you can’t have more or different perspectives. Some companies feel their scorecards should specifically address corporate social responsibility, so they have introduced a fifth dimension called “environmental perspective” or ‘societal perspective.” Others add a perspective for suppliers and partners to cover this important constituency. Not-for-profit organizations often flip … [ Read more ]

John Timmerman

Finance and economics are the means by which companies operate. To get senior leaders to tune in, the […] conversation must be focused on financial outcomes. If you start the conversation with methods, tools, and techniques, they’ll tune you out.

Gary Cokins

You can get an MBA to learn about the discipline of management. I received one from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Its curriculum taught me about management, but I can candidly say that it did not teach me how to manage. There is a difference. Management involves strategy, analysis, and decisions from choices. How to manage involves people.

Tom Landry

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.

Jeanne M. Liedtka

We sometimes refer to the “designated doubters” in corporations, and these are often people in finance. They have a responsibility to make very sure that corporate and stockholders’ money is spent well; the idea is that “before we make any investment we want you to prove to us holistically and analytically that it’s a good investment.” And that makes a lot of sense at one … [ Read more ]

Marc Benioff

The reality is that capitalism has to be seen in the broader social context and not defined just by economic capital but also by human and social capital.

Forrest W. Breyfogle III

A good metric excels in eight different areas: business alignment, honest assessment, consistency, repeatability and reproducibility, actionability, time-series tracking, predictability, and peer comparability.

Charles Horngren

Decision-making is the ultimate reason why accountants and finance people exist. The way to judge the quality of an accounting or performance management system is to determine whether it is spurring quality decision-making.

Kevin Daley

We have a process we call “touch, turn, and talk.” You touch the visual where you want the eye of the viewer as you look at the visual. If you look toward the visual, they will too. So you touch that point, and then turn back to the audience and talk only when looking at a pair of eyes, because your job is to connect … [ Read more ]

Saj-nicole Joni, Theresa Wellbourne

Theresa Wellbourne […] has conducted extensive studies of the relationship between organizational tension and business unit performance. According to her research, the single biggest predictor of poor organizational performance is when employees are “complacent” or “happy.” The second biggest predictor of poor performance is when employees are “burnt out” or “overwhelmed.” Getting the balance right is essential. Not all tensions are productive—think internal politicking and … [ Read more ]

How to Avoid Corporate Middle-Age Spread

As organizations go from birth to maturity to middle age, they tend to become flabby and fail to spend enough time on the things that made them successful in the beginning. This article looks at how to measure and manage the time your employees and partners spend on valuable versus possibly time-wasting activities.

Eight Crucial Considerations for International Growth

While expanding to other countries may be attractive, it also poses challenges and potential pitfalls for companies. Different jurisdictions usually means different rules, and financial officers often need help navigating the unique rules of each new market. Fortunately, there are ways to establish and build a company’s global footprint successfully. Savvy cash management is key, and financial officers who are proactive and involved early in … [ Read more ]

The Next Agenda: The War to Develop Talent

Talent remains a top concern for business leaders around the world. This concern is not about the availability of workers; it is, rather, about the shortage of critical skills, experiences and specialized capabilities of leaders, managers, creators and producers required in changing industries. As the global consumer and talent markets grow increasingly inter-connected, we are seeing new patterns and priorities emerge in what has for … [ Read more ]

A Little Knowledge Management Can Be a Dangerous Thing

According to the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), knowledge management (KM) is defined as: “a systematic process of connecting people to people and people to knowledge and information they need to effectively act and create new knowledge.” But is KM is worthwhile business practice and, if so, how should it be measured?

Avoiding Discovernance: A Practical Approach to Post-Merger Integration

Post-merger integration (PMI) is rarely straightforward, but most businesses find ways to make it slower, less effective and more expensive than it needs to be. The goal of PMI is to get the reconfigured company back in the marketplace as quickly and effectively as possible—doing business in the ways the deal envisioned. That goal faces two deadly enemies: uncertainty and an excess of process and … [ Read more ]

Translating HR into Financial Performance

A new study indicates that companies with strong core HR practices have revenue growth that is up to 3.5 times higher than that of their peers and profit margins that are 2.1 times better. The study looked at 22 HR areas and focuses on just six with the greatest tie between economic performance and a company’s capability. These areas are recruiting, on-boarding of new hires … [ Read more ]