Triangle PerformanceTriangle Performance

APRIL 2010





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From the Top

Q1 2010 is now officially "in the can." We're into Q2 now; no more talk about "the new year." It's just this year now...

You should be seeing measurable progress towards your strategic, operational, and functional goals and objectives. If some of your folks appear to still be "waiting to get started," let them know that the train has left the station... all aboooooard!

Stop wasting time, over-thinking, and over-planning. Start doing.

The end of Q1 is a perfect time to review compensation and related incentive plans, making sure they're doing what they are supposed to do. The law of unintended consequences frequently rears its head in these things. Call me if I can help.

If your leaders - at any/all levels - are struggling now, this first week of April, it will only be magnified as 2010 progresses. Get them the skills and development they need. Again, call if I can assist in that regard.

Current efforts in my world include new and existing client efforts in leadership & executive development, compensation planning, and continued efforts around strategic and operational planning. New clients in Energy and Financial Services, here in the Gulf Coast, in California, and the East Coast.

Some newsworthy mentions:

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) was recently ranked the most admired company in the food production industry for the second year in a row by Fortune magazine. ADM (Cedar Rapids) has been a Triangle Performance client for several years; they are a dedicated group of really good, hardworking people -- congrats to them for continuing their successful efforts!

The Houston Business Journal featured my firm (and a large, multi-year client) for an article on team-centric executive development. Appeared on page 5B of the April 24th print edition of the HBJ.

I've been selected as a featured speaker at the 2010 Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) national conference in San Diego, July 23. It's billed as a MEGA SESSION, and is titled: HR Leadership is Easy... Until it Isn't; Successful HR Leadership In Challenging Times.

Speaking of speaking... I've presented several times recently on one of my favorite topics: Sit Down, Shut Up, and Color! Breaking through employee entitlement...

I've been invited to speak at the 2010 NRECA HR Conference in San Antonio this summer, where I'll present on strategic Human Resources and its levers on successful business today.

If you have a corporate or association event, I'd certainly enjoy speaking to your group. You can see more information regarding topics and details on my website.

Further, feel free to download and read a few articles that may be relevant today:

New! I'm Thinking of a Number - Yours might be zero (on annual pay raises),

New! Incentive Compensation is Easier than You Think - Just pay the man, and

New! Compensation Drives Business Success - You're going to spend it anyway, may as well get something for it...

...and don't forget to check out my blog; some interesting (I think) posts on visions and hallucinations and the boneheads at the TSA strike again... please comment, complain, or scream at me if you agree, disagree, or just want your opinion read, seen, and heard.

Berchelmann's Blog

If you'd like to know how I can assist you, your organization, or a colleague of yours, please fill out this form and I'll send you some specific information, articles, engagement results, and so forth.

As always, I hope this finds you well, personally and professionally; please give me a call if I can ever help in any way, and feel free to forward this to anyone you feel may be interested. (Really!) I appreciate your referrals.

Warm Regards,

D. Kevin Berchelmann

D. Kevin Berchelmann
Triangle Performance, LLC

Strategy & Leadership

Needing Leaders...
-- The "make" or "buy" decision...

So, do you grow your own leaders from within, or hire someone new with - presumably - the leadership skills you need are unable to find inside your organization? What do you tell yourself to justify not developing those skills from within your organization? How about these? See if any sound familiar...

"I don't have anyone ready to 'step-up.'"

"Leadership development is expensive."

"If I train them, they'll just leave and join the competition."

Please. I've heard them all, and many more just like these. Some are urban myths, some are akin to the business version of "old wives' tales." All are dumb. Worse, however, is that some are actually damaging to your organization.

For example:

I don't have anyone ready to step up. Really?? You have no one on your staff, or available to you, who with proper development, coaching, and mentoring could step into a more responsible role?

My first comment is "not likely." If you really believe that, though, here's some free advice: Whack 'em all and start over. Simple statistical odds are that some should be ready or capable of becoming ready; if not, our hiring process is so remiss that blowing it up and starting over may be the only option.

It costs too much. Again with the "really??" How much does it cost, in revenue, earnings, and your time, to re-tell, re-advise, re-answer, and re-work? How about the conflicts that apparently only you can resolve? Aren't you tired of having to make every decision yourself?

What sort of productivity gains are you missing by not having competent and skilled managers and supervisors at all levels of the leadership food chain?

If I train them, they'll just leave. So then, your choices seem to be either train someone who may eventually leave, or keeping that person without the necessary, relevant knowledge. You're not seriously weighing this, are you?

Why "grow our own" leaders? In my mind, there are three simple reasons:


It ensures continuity. Someone who has seen, experienced and "lived" the functional day-to-day may better understand what issues and challenges are significant. Yes, sometimes we need an outsider to provide some new-blood thinking, but not at the expense of continuity and corporate memory


It sends a positive message. Advancement opportunities are a big reason that good people stay - including you. Promoting a deserving candidate trumps an external hire 24x7 in that regard.


They already know, understand, and more importantly fit our culture. Let's face it -- though valuable, skills are a dime a dozen on the open market. They just aren't that difficult to find (including mine and yours). What's difficult is finding those skills wrapped up in someone intelligent enough to learn our jobs, and who also fits our current culture.

Except in very unique circumstances, developing current staff to assume future leadership roles always, always, benefits the organization in big ways. Many of you reading this have been promoted into your roles, so you clearly understand the value. We can - we really can - teach and develop the skills necessary to "grow your own," so keep that in mind before thinking there's "greener grass" in a newly hired manager...


Strategy, Compensation, and Leadership...
-- The business success trilogy

You wrestle with the components of Strategy, Compensation, and Leadership all the time. You understand the significance of each, and lose sleep occasionally (hopefully just occasionally) over one or more of these on a fairly regular basis.

It doesn't have to be that way. Think synergy.

This trilogy of business levers cannot act independently. Each needs the other two parts to create and or maximize organizational success. You know this intuitively, of course; let me explain how you know it on a more tangible level...

Strategy. The "why" (mission, vision, etc.) followed by the "what" (plans). This is both our road map and our key junctures. Our organizations rise and fall based on this component (or sometimes lack thereof).

But the best laid plans, poorly executed, are worthless. Leadership makes things happen. Our compensation and incentive plans must match that strategy to avoid confusion, inconsistency, and cognitive dissonance (a scenario that usually starts with "But I thought you wanted me to do that...").

Strategy needs compensation and leadership to actually do much of anything.

Compensation. Always a strange bird. We worry, cuss, discuss, modify and reconsider. Then, when it's time to decide, we seemingly just flip a coin.

Compensation, to be a successful lever of business, needs to appropriately follow an established strategy... a goal... a direction. Otherwise, and we've all seen this, we end up paying out real dollars and not realizing the desired results - a double whammy.

Further, it's leadership that helps drive strategic objectives, and provides a degree of motivational effort (I call this discretionary effort). People perform better with better leadership.

All three components again connect.

Leadership. The big Kahuna. The One. Really effective leadership is the only component here that can produce a measure of success in spite of strategy and compensation. Brute Force Management, I call it. Short-term results via undue efforts.

Real success, however, big stuff, happens when effective leadership meets a sound, well-thought strategy, and is driven by appropriate and meaningful compensation and incentive efforts.

It's the holy grail of organizational success, and you get to play Indiana Jones.

Strategy, Compensation, and Leadership are well-known levers of a business; combine them smartly, make them work together, and like Archimedes' lever, you can move the world.

But that's just me...

© 2010 Triangle Performance, LLC