Business coaching for BPM
Motivate to pass the ball !



This "battle cry" of the Spanish Coach, Luis Aragonés, during the Euro 2008, the major European football (soccer) competition, gave the victory to Spain over such powerful selections like Italy, the current world champion and Germany, a traditional strong rival in this kind of contention.

The days after the event, several Business Managers in Spain were capitalizing on this historical achievement for Business Coaching, giving their collaborators the heart for team working. Taking profit of the occasion, I wrote this article to focus on the relation between a "pass-the-ball" attitude and the competitiveness of a Company.

Many time, in the Business world, we have to face competitors with a stronger leadership and presence than us (like the German team) or an insurmountable defensive strategy (like the Italians). Unless you can pay for Brazilian players with exceptional individual skills in the art of dribble, you need to empower teamwork abilities, like the Spanish coach ruling out a so loved player in Spain like Raúl, the forward of the Real Madrid, in favour of other players less starring but more pass-the-ball oriented.

What is your Business ball ?

I guess that most of you will agree that "information" is the new ball that we are running after, all the day long, isn't ? And what are you doing, once you get it ? Are you a dribbler or a pass-the-ball player ? How many goals have you scored during the last month? And how many contracts or deliveries in time has your company lost due to your keep-the-ball tendency ?

I suppose that many of you are able to recognize keep-the-ball players in your Company. Or may be you identify yourself as one of them/us:- A Salesman who keeps secret her/is opportunities and declare them just when s/he got the contract, jeopardizing the correct sizing of the Supply Chain and putting in risk the delivery date.- A Manager who does not rise the risks identified, hindering their mitigation at the correct level.- A Project Team member who don't bring his/er part of the schedule up to date, making the Enterprise Planning system less useful than a dustbin.Probably everybody could complete the list taking a lot of examples from his/er experience.

In most of the cases these Business players will demonstrate you that they were not aware of being an obstacle for the team. In too many organizations, the lack of feed-back makes individuals not conscious of the impact of their acts on the global system performance. At this stage of the reading, some of you will say: "OK I understand. You are pushing the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) forward". Not exactly.

In principle working with Business Process Management and Business Performance Management through the use of Key Performance Indicators should help the Business to be more team working oriented. However, two kind of mistakes have to be avoided: the first one is the UN-balanced scorecard and the second is to manage processes instead of managing BY processes.

The UN-Balanced Scorecard

Let us define the UN-balanced scorecard through its contrary: the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). A BSC oriented manager considers not only objectives and KPI on the results (or the goals), through the Financial and Customer perspectives, but balances them with facilitators objectives (pass-the-ball) measured by KPI in the perspectives of Processes and Learning.On the opposite side, shortsighted management boards focus exclusively on Financials KPI, sometimes with a quick look at the Customer satisfaction indicators, and considering Processes and Learning only at a second level of priority or not at all.

A KPI is useful if it makes your team progress in the direction you have fixed. The average number of goals a player scores by match is a good KPI to motivate your best forward, but probably a poor KPI to incentive a pass-the-ball play. If you don't offer any KPI more, all your players, including the goalkeeper, will dribble until they get the goal instead of passing the ball to the player in the best position.

So, take care when setting objectives, to balance goals on results with facilitators KPIs.
Support your Business Coaching with a Balanced Scorecard initiative

Management BY Process

In one of my first participation in a Business Process Management (BPM) initiative, I had the opportunity to appreciate the difference between Process Management and Management BY Process.

After the methodology had been presented and the processes mapped, a network of Process Owners was named with the mission to manage their processes.Analyzing the results some years after, we discovered that the power of the Departments had been reinforced to the detriment of a better and more fluid horizontal communication between them. Just the opposite of the initial objective which was to promote team-working making everyone aware of the needs of his/er internal customer. Why ?

In fact, most of the Process Owners had appropriated the BPM tools managing processes for their own benefits. Using KPIs to demonstrate the good performance of their Department, rejecting any responsibility on the bad results of the company.This deviation was the consequence of a poor leadership from the management leaving the vertical organization take the control (Process Management), instead of Managing the Business BY Process through a Business Process Officer with a real influence on the horizontal axis of the organization.

If you decide to implement a BPM initiative, or you have failed in your previous attempts, first look for your "Luis Aragonés" coach. Give him/er the mission and the power to balance the vertical axis of your organization (the functional Departments or the "Métiers" in French) with an horizontal Management BY Process. Be sure that s/he will take care of the fluent information circulation through the processes, developing pass-the-ball skills at every level of the organization.

Pass the ball ! This is the more effective and efficient way to reach the goal.

business coaching, bsc, bpm

Motive the team for change

Probably you are not coaching a team for the next football competition of for the next Olympic Games. So you need to identify the medals for which your team is ready to make the effort to change. A bonus based on the adequate KPI completion is a first step. But is not enough.

Discover the passion that make each one to give the best of him/er. Link the Business Process Management with real improvements in their day to day live:
- more fluid relations at work- anticipation and better planning to reduce stress- making the job in less time for the benefit of the company but also for more personal time

Look at this video about relation between business strategy and passion to get ideas.