Nature’s 10 Rules
Supported by a
performance management discipline
Diversify across generations.
DEBATE about strategic objectives (especially revenue growth), build
financial and operational models the include scenarios for mergers,
acquisitions, and divestitures of products, customers, geography, and
capabilities. Continue to
optimize your models by connecting them to learning done in the DECIDE
process – especially drivers, constraints, and assumptions from budgets,
plans and forecasts (and actuals).
to the changing environment — and specialize.
analysis (UNDERSTAND) on what you learn from GATHER (actuals, variances,
events) as well as what you created in DEBATE (e.g., forecast accuracy and actual
ROI). Commit to
changes in DECIDE via enterprise planning (workforce plans, for example).
Celebrate transparency. Every species knows which species will eat it and
which will not.
interconnect all parts of the performance management framework to a common
business language, common data, definitions, meta-data, and master-data, and
you use performance management tools to give visibility to the organization,
you create transparency – not just for results, but also for the cause and
effect of those results as well as the reasons why you were after those
results in the first place (strategic objectives, targets, models, and
and execute systematically, not compartmentally. Every part of a plant
contributes to its growth.
framework is predicated on systematic planning for the enterprise: financial and operational.
groups and protect the young. Most animals travel in flocks, gaggles, and
prides. Packs offer strength and efficacy.
work teams, divisions, SBUs, projects, and so on, generally live at the
intersection of a business function and a layer in the business (strategic,
operational or tactical). Have
the performance management framework honor their unique perspectives, yet
interconnect with the rest of the organization. Help “protect” the pack with the right HR KPIs.
Integrate metrics. Nature brings the right information to the right place at
the right time. When a tree needs water, the leaves curl; when there is rain,
the curled leaves move more water to the root system.
the right things.
align on the most material and volatile drivers of value in the business.
data into actionable information.
with each cycle. Evolution is a strategy for long-term survival.
cycle fosters continuous improvement (as in the DECIDE to DEBATE example
above). Performance management
maturity comes by interlinking (in both directions) each component of the
Right-size regularly, rather than downsize occasionally. If an organism grows
too big to support itself, it collapses; if it withers, it is eaten.
A part of
your continuous DEBATE is around resources (FTE, PPE, etc.) – what is the
optimal level of the workforce, of facilities, of capital, to deliver on our
strategic goals? Agree in the
DEBATE and execute via plans in the DECIDE.
longevity, not immediate gratification. Nature does not buy on credit and
uses resources only to the level that they can be renewed.
of short-term and long-term targets are required to execute beyond just the
nothing, recycle everything. Some of the greatest opportunities in the 21st
century will be turning waste — including inefficiency and under-utilization
— into profit.
and results around efficiency, productivity, waste, utilization, and so on
are all baked-in to the performance management cycle. Benchmark yourself internally and
externally to see what’s normal and give yourself ‘exceed’ scenarios in your
forecasts to overachieve.