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Handbook of Corporate Performance Management by Mike Bourne, Pippa Bourne

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Introduction

At first sight the concept of measuring and managing business performance is straightforward – not necessarily easy to do – but a logical process that is easy to define and understand. On deeper inspection that is not the case. Performance management and measurement is complex, reaching every level of the business from the development of strategy to the management of individual employees. The performance management process often raises fundamental questions about the purpose and direction of the business, questions senior managers do not always want to ask. It brings to the fore many grey areas and problems for which there are no easy answers but which may have been lying, untouchable, within the organisation and causing trouble for years. It involves a wide range of activities and skills from strategic thinking to detailed analysis and from facilitating discussions to gaining commitment to actions and just making sure things are happening. It is ultimately about getting the right things done.

Many businesses fall into the trap of treating their performance management process almost as a ‘tick box’ exercise, something that can support and run alongside the implementation of their strategy. In fact, if it is to be successful, it needs to be an intrinsic part of strategy formulation as well as being integrated into everyday business. It should involve a broad range of people with different skills and it should touch every employee. However, too many businesses waste ...

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