Monday, June 15, 2009

It's all about culture - a glimpse into my new book

Greetings everyone! It's nearly summer here in the northern hemisphere and time to start thinking about the beach, hiking, picnics and barbecues. And, now that I've finished writing my second book, I'm hoping to kick back and relax a little and enjoy the warm weather!

My new book will be entitled: Profiles in Performance: Business Intelligence Journeys and the Roadmap for Change and will be released by John Wiley & Sons in October. It's available now for pre-order.

I started thinking about writing a second book awhile ago. Originally, I had conceived it as a best-practices guide for Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) - a sort of sequel to my first book, The Performance Management Revolution. However, as I began my research, I came to realize that “culture”, and not technology, was the deciding factor for success or failure. By culture I mean people and groups of people - their beliefs, motives, attitudes, organization, customs, processes, etc.

As a result, I changed the focus to what I call "performance-directed culture" (e.g., transparency and accountability) and a small number of organizations that seemed successful in creating and sustaining one. To this end, I developed a new maturity model, which I call the Performance Culture Maturity Model. This model employs six dimensions and four levels - which help determine the state of an organization’s achievement towards a performance-directed culture. I used this model as a filter to select candidate organizations and as a lens to study them.

Once the model was created, I began the process of speaking with innumerable organizations of varying size and industry. Out of all of this process came four extraordinary subjects: one each in health care, hospitality, manufacturing and public broadcasting. The names of these organizations and the personnel that participated are openly shared in the book.

The four finalists all agreed to an on-site study, for several days, with access to all key personnel. This entailed a “360 degree review” with in-depth interviews of C-level executives, other management, and individual contributors – across all functions. This approach gave me an opportunity to develop a relationship with the people and a deeper understanding of their businesses and cultures than would have been possible had I employed a more traditional method.

The result is a rich account of each organization’s journey towards the goal of becoming a performance-directed culture. Each case study and analysis is unique, detailing the challenges, achievements and – most importantly - lessons learned.

My goal for the reader is enable them to find themselves in one of these case studies, map their own progress on the maturity model and initiate (or reinvigorate) a program for performance-directed culture.

Between now and the end of the year, you'll be hearing a lot more about the book - including related interviews, presentations and book signings. Check my website for updates at


All the best,