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The Performance Perspectives Blog: Perception-building and performance management
Delaney Turner 270002T14M firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  performance_management business_intelligence
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"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about" ~ Oscar Wilde
There's been no shortage of talk about Canada and Canadians over the past week, what with the world's best winter athletes gathering in Vancouver to compete and all. Most of the chatter has been in response to our country's "strange and adorable" show of bravado and our drive to "Own the Podium." Unfortunately, it's also been about un-cooperative torches, broken-down ice surfacers (Zambonis to the rescue!), blowouts in Women's hockey, a fenced-off outdoor cauldron and lots and lots of rain.
Naturally, this led me to think about performance management. Specifically, it led me to think about the importance of perceptions in the early days of your deployment.
In the fight for funding, early perceptions are key. No doubt you're competing against dozens of other projects, so you need to present yours in the right light. Dave Kasabian recommends you survey landscape first, to find out what your CFO is looking for. In most cases, it's quick and demonstrable ROI. “Choose something you can address and solve in a few months," he says. "Define the value of addressing it. Put a dollar value on it.”
The second, more sensitive aspect is your own personal brand. Early-stage projects also win or lose on the reputation of their chief advocate. If you're the one fronting this project, ask yourself: Am I the right person to be selling this?
Before you answer that, consider this: Quick wins can accelerate your career. Quick failures can stop your plans cold. Are you willing to put your reputation at risk? If you're answering "No" to either of these, the best course of action is to find someone who can take it forward and give them everything they need to make it work.
Back in Vancouver, Ian Brown applauded the opening ceremonies for avoiding comfortable Canadian clichés. Michael Ignatieff, the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, today called the Olympics "the branding opportunity of a lifetime."
The eyes of the world are on Vancouver right now and the jury's still out as to how these games will be viewed. The eyes of your CFO will be on your project as well.
No doubt the world's perceptions of Canada are currently in flux. Are you up to the same kind of scrutiny?
Speaking of brands, the consulting firm Brand Finance released its updated ranking of the world's most valuable brands. It ranks IBM fourth, based on the firm's attempt to calculate "net present value of the estimated future cash flows." Essentially answering the question, "What's in a name?" In the case of IBM, quite a bit.