Academy Awards and Analytics-based Performance Management

March 1, 2011
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I always find the acceptance speeches at Hollywood’s Academy Awards to be inspirational. The ones I enjoy most are Oscar recipients who thank the teams that contributed to their receiving the award. Success comes much more from teams than from an individual’s performance.

I always find the acceptance speeches at Hollywood’s Academy Awards to be inspirational. The ones I enjoy most are Oscar recipients who thank the teams that contributed to their receiving the award. Success comes much more from teams than from an individual’s performance.

My favorite acceptance speeches are from Oscar recipients in science and technology. In contrast to actors, directors and writers, these winners love pushing the envelope in fields like animation, special effects, costume design and sound editing. They are like NASA engineers enjoying the thrill of landing an astronaut on the moon or placing a telescope in orbit that can provide facts that answer questions that so many of us are interested in the answers.

How do film awards relate to implementing projects?
There is a tight connection between Oscar winners and project teams implementing analytics-based enterprise performance management methodologies, such as customer profitability analysis, driver-based rolling financial forecasts, strategic scorecards, and operational dashboards. Each one is imbedded with business analytics of all flavors, such as regression and correlation analysis. Project teams also enjoy success seeing these types of solutions go live and being leveraged for employees to gain insights, make better decisions and align work activities and priorities with the executive team’s strategy.

Here are few examples of the Academy Award nominees with these connections:

Inception – In this film the talented director and screenplay writer Christopher Nolan displayed previously unimaginable ways to penetrate people’s dreams. I have always felt that being a dreamer is integral to being innovative.

The Social Network – In this film about the creation of the website Facebook we learn that connecting with colleagues to share passions and ideas is critical to developing more and better ideas. For analytics-based performance management examples include how to select the correct key performance indicators and how to use customer profitability reporting to retain, grow, and acquire the most profitable and valuable types of customers.

The Fighter – In this film we learn that winning is never simple. It requires getting buy-in from so many others that are often resistant to change or are risk averse.

True Grit – In this film where a young girl pursues the murderer of her father we learn how perseverance for what one’s beliefs is essential. It also demonstrates how leveraging skilled partners outside your organization can drive success.

The King’s Speech – In this film about the how England’s King George VI overcame his speech impediment to inspire the British citizenry during World War II, there is a lesson that obstacles that impede realizing change can surmounted.

Implementing analytics-based performance management methodologies is a challenge that requires teamwork. The most motivating Oscar acceptance speeches for me are not self-serving but rather are speeches that humbly acknowledge that the collective effort of a team makes the difference.