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Finally, a Formula to Improve Employee and Team Performance

Why do we look forward to the weekends so much?  Does work HAVE TO BE this way?

Many workplaces have high performance … and they can be a joy to work in if you enjoy what you do.

For others, it can be “Sunday nights suck” and  “How did I ever get here?”

Much of this grief is caused by poor performance – of executives, leaders, managers, supervisors,                              front-line workers, and your peers (at whatever level).

I use the “Performance Equation” below to diagnose and prevent performance problems.

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How will you use the summer – Individually and Organizationally?

Happy Summer. The school year will finish soon. The weather will allow for more outdoor activities. Bosses (hopefully) understand that their employees will be taking time off. Employees will want to take vacations, staycations, and mental health days.

I believe this issue has two angles to it … individual and organizational. What do you plan to do during this 2+ month break? There are no right or wrong answers here, but your responses do say something about your goals, planning, and life integration (I’m using that term now instead of life balance).

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Creating Prince William County’s next Strategic Plan

We/PBI are honored to be leading the facilitation of Prince William County’s 2025–28 Strategic Plan.

Not only is this the second largest County in Virginia, it’s also where I live.

So far, the project has been wonderful.

  • I have a talented, experienced, and passionate (PBI) team
  • The County employees are nice people and have been very collaborative and enjoyable to work with
  • We have used a number of best practices from previous successful engagements
  • The process is very inclusive – gathering input from employees, residents, the elected officials, the business community, the cities and towns that are part of the County, etc.
  • We are committed to defining 4 year goals that are aspirational, measurable, and outcome-based
  • The process will ensure that the Objectives support the Goals … and that the Strategies support the Objectives
  • The key audiences will have an opportunity to review and comment on the (nearly final) Draft Plan
  • Departmental Workplans will be created to operationalize the finalized Strategies
  • A new dashboard will facilitate ongoing measurement and conversations

This is why PBI works with local governments. Yes, there are conflicting voices and needs, but the mission is almost always the same – to provide services  (Police, Fire & Rescue, Schools, Public Works, Social and Family Services, Parks & Recreation, Economic Development, and more) in an effective and fiscally responsible manner.

We believe in Organizational Excellence. Our commitment is to lead both the development of a plan that accomplishes the jurisdiction’s unique context and situation, but also prepares them to achieve it over time  via a culture of Organizational Excellence.

The finalized plan will serve as a guiding document for resourcing decisions, focusing collaboration toward community outcomes, a communication vehicle about where the County is going and its’ progress, and to stimulate engagement to make the County a great place to live, work, and play.

This is MY passion. I’d enjoy talking with anyone who is interested or involved in strategic planning work.

Can We Save Our Planet?  Will We?

The month of April includes Earth Day on the 22nd.

But why can’t it be every day in the month?  Every day in the year?

Climate change … Global warming … whatever moniker you want to use … is real.

The examples are all around us.

  • More intense natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, droughts, etc.)
  • Rising sea levels. Rising sea temperatures (and the impact on marine life)
  • More and more seriously endangered species of animals

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Nine Years with Cancer

This month, I … (am not sure what the right verb is … Celebrate?  Acknowledge?  Note?) that I have completed 9 full years with cancer. 

The tumor is wrapped around the Aorta so it can never come out. So after almost two years of wishing and hoping, we had to adjust our mindset to “managing it”. 

It has NOT been easy – on me, my family, my business partners, and even my clients. People have been very understanding and supportive for which I’m very grateful. 

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What About Personal Excellence?

Last month I posted about Organizational Excellence, provided some examples of who has achieved it, and challenged my readers to define how they can personally support the “journey”.

OK, so that makes me think about Personal Excellence.  Wow. That’s a loaded concept.  It’s embedded in many things – your view of life, of work, of yourself, and of your WHY.

To a degree, I feel someone needs to define (even loosely) who they are as a person and what they stand for.  All “measurements” require some form of baseline to compare against.

But … we are complex beings.  We can have excellence in some areas and be woefully short in others. Is there an overall “score” for that?  Adding more complexity, we may place different weight or emphasis on some areas over others.

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WHO has Organizational Excellence?

We spend about 1/3 of our time during our working years … at work. The organizations we work in run the gamut from Outstanding to Horrific. If it’s close to the latter, you may dread Sunday night and Monday morning. But … who are/have been the great ones? There are examples in every niche of life.  Here are a few of them:

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Are you going to stay after you get your bonus? 

“I’ll hang on till I get my bonus” 

December marks the time for holiday parties and usually the handing out of bonuses. The size of the bonus can have several factors – culture of the organization, organizational performance that year, and judgements about the individual’s performance. 

That takes us back to virtual vs. in-person. How are we measuring the performance of those who do most of their work virtually? Do we really measure by results? 

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What are you TRULY thankful for? 

Thanksgiving is next week. Most people will use the holiday (and the season) to reflect more deeply on what they are thankful for. 

I’ve spoken about this in numerous posts over the last two years. In short, I am: 

  • Grateful to be alive (I’m now 8 ½ years with cancerous tumor wrapped around the Aorta) 
  • Grateful for my wife and family (not just caretakers, but love and comfort) 
  • Grateful to have a job I love (my own business). Note: some clients are better than others. 
  • Grateful to be safe   
  • Grateful to have co-workers/business partners who I really like and trust 
  • Grateful for the environment and its beauty (especially during this fall season) 
  • Grateful to be fully immersed in two different cultures (white and Latino) 
  • Any many more 

How about you? 

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Have you ever had a great mentor? 

We don’t get through life alone. 

We have parents, teachers, bosses, (for me) the military, and others that play a more formal role. 

But we also have those that “take us under their wing”. 

Sometimes we seek it; other times they find us. 

I’m not going to debate the terms mentor (longer-term, less outcome-based) vs. coach here. 

It used to be that we could point to one person as our mentor. 

Over the past 20 – 30 years it’s become common to have multiple mentors that help us in different ways. The concept of reverse mentoring is now pretty commonplace. 

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