Capitalizing Upon Success

Big Red Car here.  Big game tonight!  Who do you like, beloved readers?

The Boss likes Louisville.  Uhh, The Boss likes Michigan.  Actually, The Boss likes the Carolina Tar Heels but guess what, Boss — the Heels are not playing tonight.  They did not make it to the Final Four.

Which brings the Big Red Car to a favorite subject of The Boss — capitalizing upon success.  He has a very simple methodology of doing exactly that.

Document Your Successes

In business it is critical to conduct a postmortem of each of your initiatives and projects.  It might be the conversion of an accounting system or the implementation of a social media marketing campaign — discretely identifiable efforts or projects.

Make a list of all such efforts you have undertaken in the last twelve months.  The list does not have to be complete but it should be your best effort.

Identify which ones had better than expected outcomes, which ones had expected outcomes and which ones failed to meet your expectations.  Sort the list.

Identify Your Best Performers

Identify who worked on each of these projects by name.

Try to describe their individual contributions to the outcomes.

If their contributions were the critical element in exceeding expectations — say so.  If their failure to act or the quality of their contributions was a critical element in the failure to meet expectations — say so.

See if a pattern emerges — you are identifying your best contributors and performers based upon outcomes.

You are also identifying what may be your weakest performers and contributors based also upon objective outcomes.

Hmmm, Big Red Car, this is some interesting information and it is only based on outcomes you say?  Yes, outcomes.  Because sometimes, only results count.

Assign Your Best Performers to Your Most Promising Projects

Now when you have critical projects from which the company must have a great outcome — assign your proven performers to those projects.  Put your best folks on those projects and let them contribute to the success of that effort.

Tie this back into your performance appraisal system.  Identify, reward and promote the folks whose contributions and performance drives their projects to exceed expectations.  Capitalize upon success.

Take a critical look at those folks who routinely are involved with projects which fail to meet expectations.  Get rid of them.  There, the Big Red Car said what you already know — you can make a bigger improvement in the average performance of your company by getting rid of the bottom 10% because the top 10% is already giving you everything they have.

Cull the weak performers — not what you want hear?  Tough love from the Big Red Car.

Tonight only one team is going to win — the loser will still be a great team but they will be the losers.  In business, be the winner by using this simple methodology.

Louisville wins tonight, sayeth the  Big Red Car!

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.