Does President Obama’s Chief Performance Officer Validate Performance Management?

January 21, 2009
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What could be a better validation for the progress of the performance management framework than having President Obama create the position of chief performance officer, or CPO? Obama’s announcement of Katherine Killefer, a consultant with McKinsey & Company and former chief financial officer at the US Treasury, as the USA’s CPO is good news for advocates in the performance management community. She was will reside in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Some may argue that creating one more C-suite position excessively distributes the responsibilities of the existing executive team, such as the CEO, COO, and CFO roles. However, Professor Robert S. Kaplan and Dr. David P. Norton, the authors of several books on the balanced scorecard, have advocated that organizations should create an office of strategy management, or OSM as they call it. They maintain that most organizations fail to meet their growth targets and other strategic objectives. They attribute the wide gap between intended and actual performance to a large disconnect between the executives who formulate the strategy and the functions, processes and people needed to execute it. Their OSM suggestion combines the


What could be a better validation for the progress of the performance management framework than having President Obama create the position of chief performance officer, or CPO? Obama’s announcement of Katherine Killefer, a consultant with McKinsey & Company and former chief financial officer at the US Treasury, as the USA’s CPO is good news for advocates in the performance management community. She was will reside in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Some may argue that creating one more C-suite position excessively distributes the responsibilities of the existing executive team, such as the CEO, COO, and CFO roles. However, Professor Robert S. Kaplan and Dr. David P. Norton, the authors of several books on the balanced scorecard, have advocated that organizations should create an office of strategy management, or OSM as they call it. They maintain that most organizations fail to meet their growth targets and other strategic objectives. They attribute the wide gap between intended and actual performance to a large disconnect between the executives who formulate the strategy and the functions, processes and people needed to execute it. Their OSM suggestion combines the functions responsible for strategic planning with those activities required to implement it – such as creating budgets, scorecards, and incentive compensation systems to “manage” the strategy.

There is evidence that President Obama’s approach by naming a CPO is effective.

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