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Choosing Measures Wisely – A Lesson from the American League MVP Race

Posted August 31, 2011 4:35 PM by Mark Cutler

A recent debate stirred up by a Wall Street Journal sports article got me to thinking about the importance of choosing measures to determine the impact performance is having on your organization.

To summarize the article from Aug. 13, "The Obvious MVP ... in 1991," for you, it argued that the New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson would be the favorite for the American League's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award if it were 1991 because he was tied for first in runs batted in (RBI), second in home runs, led the league in triples, and even had 22 stolen bases. However, over the last 20 years, the major statistics (measures) by which MVP voters gauge a baseball player's value have shifted, largely due to the Sabermetrics movement led by Bill James and Billy Beane.

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Managing Strategy is Managing Change

Posted August 29, 2011 5:47 PM by Ted Jackson

I promised an update of some of Dr. Norton's materials from his presentation in Mexico back in July. One of the first topics he spoke about is the concept of "managing strategy." It doesn't sound very revolutionary, but most organizations go through a process of developing a strategy every 3 to 5 years and then putting that strategy on a shelf. They may look at the strategy annually and then go through the strategy refresh process again in 3-5 years. Best practice organizations, according to David Norton, spend time managing their strategy.

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Joining Forces Community Challenge

Posted August 20, 2011 10:16 AM by Brandon Kline

Army Strong

The Few. The Proud.

Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win

A Global Force For Good

Always Ready

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Social Capital increases school performance

Posted August 19, 2011 9:22 AM by Ted Jackson

So the cover story of the Fall 2011 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review is called "The Missing Link in School Reform." At Ascendant, we help a lot of schools to improve performance, so the article caught my eye. In the article, author Carrie Leana introduces the concept of Social Capital. She says that it may be more important than Human Capital in improving schools.

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The City of Durham's New Strategy Management Portal

Posted August 9, 2011 12:23 AM by Dylan Miyake

DURHAM, North Carolina - August 8, 2011

After a significant effort to compile performance data supporting its Strategic Plan, Durham is now inviting members of the Durham community to see the latest information online.

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No Quantitative Measure? Then a Qualitative Measure Will Do

Posted August 8, 2011 8:39 PM by Mark Cutler

Last week I took a class titled "Public Speaking Mastery," a two-day course designed to help people polish their public speaking skills. It was a great course for a consultant who has to speak in front of groups of people all the time and is always looking to hone his skills.

However, the performance measurement part of my brain asked, "How will I know if I actually learn anything from this course? How will I know if I improve over these days?" I wanted to know what the measure was for improved public speaking ability.

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Executive Director of SAWDC to present at our upcoming conference

Posted August 8, 2011 9:38 AM by Ted Jackson

Have you ever thought of an employee as a raw material to making your business successful? If employees are one of the key ingredients to success, then having the highest quality of employee at all levels is critical to your business's success. This makes sense, right? So what do you do if your company requires many skilled laborers, but the community where you operate doesn't have enough qualified candidates? For companies in Southwest Alabama, you get involved in workforce development, and that is where SAWDC fits in.

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Posted August 5, 2011 8:52 AM by Brandon Kline

Now that the lockout is officially over, the amount of conversations revolving around football has picked up significantly. Football is something that I enjoy very much and like talking about whenever I get the chance. As a consultant, I also enjoy conversations centered on strategic management and the excitement that comes with each client. Over the weekend, I was talking to a friend about my job and, as most conversations between two, twenty-four year old males do, the topic eventually turned to football. In some odd way, this got me thinking about the similarities between football and strategic management. I know, a weird comparison, but stick with me and I think you will see where these thoughts came from.

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A Case of Conflicting Incentives

Posted August 3, 2011 8:29 AM by Dylan Miyake

So, last weekend, I was restocking wardrobe essentials like t-shirts, socks, etc. As is the case with most guys, shopping is not one of my strong suits. I delay and delay until there is no choice but to retire those trusty but threadbare socks and replace them with a fresh pair.

While I was shopping, the gentleman working the counter struck up a conversation. He said he recently finished college and has been working at the store for almost a year now. I mentioned something about how tough jobs are to find and he said it seems to be getting better- if his sales numbers are any indicator of the overall economy. As a data cruncher, I had to ask how his numbers were tracked and the answer was pretty surprising...

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