Triangle PerformanceTriangle Performance

MAY 2010





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From the Top

We're almost half-way through Q2 2010. Talk about a year flying by... seems 2010 is destined to be one of those "blur" years.

That's ok, of course, as long as our own vision isn't a "blur." It needs to be crystal clear. In these times of recovery and economic "ramp-up," our vision must chart a course that has little ambiguity. Now's not the time to guess wrong...

I've said this before and it bears repeating at this stage... you should be seeing measurable progress towards your strategic, operational, and functional goals and objectives. If not, then reconsider. Reconsider the goal or objective. Reconsider the path toward accomplishing that goal. And if need be, even reconsider the person charged with that goal.

Reconsider. Then refocus, re-emphasize, and press on.

This is still 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.

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:

Repeat from last month: 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! Strategic Planning -- Organizational necessity or consulting bunk??,

New! HR2 -- Human Resources Returns (as in ROI)..., and

New! Change is Cumulative -- Don't give up when you're winning, and

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 working smarter vs. harder (does it matter??), 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

Strategy -- When Egos and Logic Collide

So, a colleague of mine was preparing for a 2-day strategy session...

Never mind that I really dislike these two/three-day "events" disguised as strategic thinking and envisioning. Not that spending days on strategy is a bad thing - quite the opposite. My disdain is for those butt-killing, mind-numbing sessions that seem only to produce a fancy, embossed 3-ring binder and little else.

Crafting organizational strategy takes more work than can be done in a simple 2/3-day crash-course event.

Never mind all of that...

This colleague, like many consultants, was gearing up for the contest that was to come... the inevitable clash between monumental executive egos and the logic and foresight necessary to grow a business.

My advice to her lament? I said:

"May the force be with you. My experience tells me that if we can connect logic & smarts with their executive-level egos, then success is nigh..."

Cool advice I thought. But more importantly, it got me thinking... is ego a real advantage or an absolute hindrance when crafting potentially successful organizational strategy? Hmmmm...

Here's my take: yes, I both need -- and want -- those executive egos operating at capacity when developing strategy and navigating the envisioning process.

There's an adage I hear repeated frequently by someone I consider a whole lot smarter than I. "Appeal to their enlightened self-interest." In other words, let those executive-level egos work in the organization's favor; they've been successful for that executive, why wouldn't they be good for the business as a whole if properly channeled?

So, I say unleash the hounds... or in this case, ...the egos. Allow those participating in the strategy 'session' to personalize and internalize the process. Buy into the results because they are good for "me," as well as the company. Argue for things that will make their domain bigger, better, stronger, faster, because that will inevitably score points for the business.

In other words, allow those executives the opportunity to make corporate strategy their personal strategy. Sounds like a win-win.


Senior Leaders Need a Shirt
-- And 'one size does NOT fit all'...

That's right, a shirt.

And no, I'm not changing careers now to sell clothing...

In my earlier professional years, when I was active duty Air Force, my last position/assignment was that of a First Sergeant. In the USAF, unlike the Army, this title is a position, not a specific rank. I was a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, acting functionally (among other things) as the Commander's #2 -- his chief liaison to the enlisted force.

Translation: I did whatever needed to be done, whenever it needed to be done, and did so without much fanfare. I took care of business, and a good portion of that business was making sure that the troops -- the ones actually doing all the work that got us promoted -- were operating smoothly.

First Sergeants are typically known as "First Shirts." "Shirt," for short. The name originated nearly a century ago from work details, where someone would ask for "The Shirt;" the only person wearing a shirt in a hot, laborious work detail, obviously, was in charge.

If only people realized how well that definition fit... but I digress.

So, anytime the "Old Man" (aka Commander) wanted something, he would yell out "Shirt!" or send someone to get me, depending on proximity. I "handled" whatever needed "handling," and did so quickly, effectively, and -- equally as important -- quietly.

Multiple commanders have commented to me how their success hinged on the actions of their respective Shirt. This level of behind-the-scenes, "git-r-done" sort of execution was instrumental in many a commander's -- and organization's -- success.

In fact, I had someone in that capacity working for me during my last several years as an in-house corporate executive. Though I didn't call her a "shirt."

Hence my title above: Senior leaders need a Shirt. You need someone to take care of things, to fix things (including, yes, your screw-ups from time to time). A go-to sort of person who understands your vision, your direction, your objectives, and is able -- and willing -- to help you in whatever manner possible.

Having a Shirt will quite literally multiply your executive footprint.

Get one today, if you don't already have one around (and you may, you just don't realize). Buy him (or her), grow him, or steal him, but you need one to really be successful around the top of the organizational food chain.

But that's just me...

© 2010 Triangle Performance, LLC