My Brain is Full! “Performance Leadership” by Frank Buytendijk

November 10, 2008
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Wow.

I consider myself fairly experienced and up-to-speed on enterprise performance management (EPM), enterprise decision management (EDM), and general strategy to execution management systems and processes.  And then I read Frank Buytendijk’s new book Performance Leadership: The Next Practices to Motivate Your People, Align Stakeholders, and Lead Your Industry (McGraw Hill).  There is so much good/new thinking in this book that my br

Wow.

I consider myself fairly experienced and up-to-speed on enterprise performance management (EPM), enterprise decision management (EDM), and general strategy to execution management systems and processes.  And then I read Frank Buytendijk’s new book Performance Leadership: The Next Practices to Motivate Your People, Align Stakeholders, and Lead Your Industry
(McGraw Hill).  There is so much good/new thinking in this book that my brain is now full.

Frank is a VP on Oracle’s EPM strategy team and used to be the lead BI analyst for Gartner, so he’s been at this for some time.  And unlike many long-term practitioners in this industry, Frank has a reputation for creative thinking, being a contrarian, and connecting disparate pieces that would otherwise not be connected.  He was the first person I heard talk of the behavioral elements of performance measurement, of business interface metrics, and of closed-loop management systems.

While many companies are still in the “meat and potatoes” stage of EPM (or Corporate Performance Management and Business Performance Management to some), meaning Planning, Analytics, BI, Management & Statutory reporting, and Balanced Scorecards are disconnected, Frank gives us an aspirational vision of what EPM can be in this new book.  If you work with any sort of industry maturity model to gauge where you stand with EPM, consider Frank’s practices to be on the far right (or top left) of the continuum (or quadrant)!

Here are a few highlights of the content:
– Strategy and Organization Alignment
– Traditional Methodologies (Balanced Scorecard, Beyond Budgeting, DuPont ratio analysis, activity based costing/management, six sigma)
– Driving the right behaviors and balanced metrics
– What’s really behind “one version of the truth”
– Managing with business interface metrics and key risk indicators
– How Stephen Covey has influenced performance leadership
– Performance networks/value mapping
– a new framework for performance leadership

Frank uses a lot of case studies and industry specific scenarios to explain the concepts in the book, and that helps connect his ideas to the real world.  He also gives some specific advice on how to get started on the next phase of your EPM journey.  The first step, he says, is to build and understand your own performance network.  This will show you (and your senior management) what the key drivers of value are in your organization and in your overall ecosystem or supply and demand chain.
This, by the way, is what Business Foundation does.

And in order to at least appear impartial on this review (I used to work with Frank at Hyperion), I had to find a couple of criticisms of the book.  Here they are:
    1.    Frank uses the term “Performance Management” instead of “Enterprise Performance Management” (or “Corporate” or “Business Performance Management”) and here in the U.S., “Performance Management” is still associated with a Human Resources competency or process, so there is still some confusion in the industry.  There’s no doubt what domain he’s talking about, it’s just unfortunate that this book won’t help end the confusion, and
    2.    In table 6.2 on page 85, the first column uses commas for the thousands separator (as in North America), and the second column uses periods (as in Europe).

(It was really hard to come up with that 2nd criticism!)

Oh, and Frank has put up a website here to support the book (read the lost chapters, see a video of his presentation).

Anyone who has or is thinking of having an EPM roadmap for their organization should read this book.  Anyone who has never heard of EPM/CPM/BPM, and wants to get better at executing strategy, on improving collaboration, efficiency, and having their organization survive this downturn, should read this book. 

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