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Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success Hardcover – 1 Mar 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Amacom (1 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814408915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814408919
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Dean R. Spitzer is the performance measurement thought leader and senior researcher with IBM Corporation's Almaden Research Laboratory. He has worked for several additional Fortune 500 companies as well as with the U.S. government, and has been a professor at five universities.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Decision-makers now realize the importance of measuring only what really matters, especially at all levels and throughout all areas of the given enterprise. The question remains, how to do that effectively and efficiently? In this volume, Dean R, Spitzer responds to that important question when offering a comprehensive, cohesive, and cost-effective methodology by which to do that. He asserts that it is necessary to rethink how to measure performance in order to drive organizational success. In his previous books (Super-Motivation, Info-Line co-authored with Malcolm Conway, and Improving Individual Performance), he introduced a number of core concepts, which he develops in much greater depth in this volume. He again asserts that the key to success (however defined) is accurate and consistent measurement. He goes on to suggest that "the context of measurement will largely determine its effectiveness" and his explanation of what a proper context is and why it is so important separates his book from so many others that address many of the same issues. "The purpose of this book is not about doing measurement; it is about creating an optimal environment (context) for its effective use." He achieves that purpose and that is why I hold this book in such high regard.

One of the recurring themes in Spitzer's book is the need for "measurement leadership" throughout the given enterprise. "Creating and sustaining an environment conducive to innovative measurement is a key leadership responsibility. Some of the most important qualities for organizational success in the new economy are already the most important components for transformational measurement - intangible assets like talent, trust, knowledge, and collaboration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Noreen E Metcalf TechIOSH FCMI on 1 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
"A brilliant read, At last - a jargon free resource for measuring performance, Dean Spitzer tells it as it is - a must read - for every public servant. If you are going to measure anything at all (other than the journey!!) - read this book first. "
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Amazon.com: 50 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Mal Conway Review of Spitzer Book 29 Mar. 2007
By Malcolm Conway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
DEAN SPITZER has produced a ground-breaking book that shatters long-held, deeply entrenched conceptualizations of measurement that have resulted in measurement dysfunction. Moving beyond classical measurement theory and the focus on technical measures, Dean challenges all who create, track, use and are affected by performance measures to move away from measurement dysfunction characterized by:

1. Excessive focus on rewards

2. Fear

3. Measuring the wrong things

4. Measuring `looking good,' rather than `being good'

5. Measuring too much

6. Sub-optimization (measuring in functional silos)

7. Cheating

His cogent, compelling, specific remedies for transforming traditional performance measurement are to focus instead on:

1. Context: Continuously improve how measurement is experienced. [We rarely think about the "measurement experience" in organizations!]

2. Focus: Focus on measuring the right things. Focus on the `critical few' transformational measures, rather than the `trivial many' routine ones.

3. Integration: Use measurement frameworks and cross-functional measures to break down barriers and align the organization.

4. Interactivity: Performance measurement is just a bunch of `metrics' if it isn't the basis for dialogue. Dialogue around measurement makes it come alive, makes it meaningful, and promotes organizational learning.

Dr. Spitzer's thoughtful book is destined to be a classic due to its focus on the human aspects of performance measurement. Kudos and my gratitude to him for producing this practical guide.

Malcolm J. Conway

IBM Global Business Services
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
How to measure only what really what matters...and do it right 19 Feb. 2007
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Consider the following observations:

"Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it." - Voltaire

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

"There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." - Peter Drucker

In this remarkable volume, Dean Spitzer urges his reader to re-think how to measure and drive organizational success, whatever the size and nature of the give organization may be. He offers a number of performance measures and ways of measures that can have a "transformational impact" on the way people in organizations view the work, their products, their associates, and their customers. He asks his reader to begin to view measurement itself "through a new lens" when correlating the material in this book with her or his own organization. "Perhaps the most surprising truth covered in this book is that the `context of measurement' [i.e. `an optimal environment for its effective use'] will largely determine its effectiveness."

At this point, it should be noted that Spitzer offers two significant reassurances in the Introduction: transformational measurement doesn't require a major change in a business structure or systems, "but only in how you think about measuring your organization; moreover, "on those occasions when measurement is used for the purpose of improvement rather than to make judgments or place blame, and when it is focused on the right measures, its true power is revealed."

After an especially informative Introduction, Spitzer carefully organizes his material within and 13 chapters as he explains why transformational measurement is so powerful, what happens when measurement "goes bad, why it does so, the beginning of the transformation process, how to create a positive context of measurement, on what to focus when measuring, how to integrate measurement, the nature and extent of interactivity of measurement, the leadership required by effective measurement, what can be learned about and from measurement, what the uses and abuses of measurement technology are, how to achieve and then sustain "performance measurement maturity," and then in Chapter 13 for purposes of review, what transformational measures are and aren't as well as what they offer in terms of their capabilities and potential benefits.

Then in his final chapter, after having established a multi-dimensional frame-of-reference (i.e. a proper "context") for his own core concepts, Spitzer examines 34 different transformational measurement "action plans.
I strongly recommend that this material, in Chapter 14, be reviewed at least every 3-6 months because the needs and interests of a given organization, as well as the perils and opportunities within its competitive marketplace, are certain to change and thus modifications of its own "game plan" must be made in response to those changes.

I began this brief commentary with three quotations: Voltaire urges all of us to seek the truth but to be skeptical of absolutes, given the fact that in today's world, change continues to be the only constant; Einstein's insight supports Spitzer's assertion that each "context of measurement" be viewed through a "new lens"; and Drucker focuses our attention on determining - and then committing our resources - only to what is most important.

Spitzer would be among the first to insist that only a fool would attempt to apply all of the core concepts, basis principles, strategies, and tactics he discusses. It remains for each reader to absorb and digest this material first, then be informed and guided by it when formulating and then implementing a "game plan" for her or his own organization. Whatever the structure and details of that plan are, it must respond to four questions:

1. What is most important to our success?

2. What specifically must be done to achieve that success?

3. How can we accurately and consistently measure our performance - both as individuals and as an organization -when seeking that objective?

4. In process, how can we take full advantage of every learning opportunity and then apply what we have learned in a timely and effective manner?

Congratulations to Dean Spitzer on what I consider to be a brilliant achievement.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Breadth and depth 6 Mar. 2007
By L. Hiner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dean Spitzer could have simply written a book to critically examine the traditional, ineffective use of measurement so pervasive today. Or, he could have laid out some of his thoughts on what perspectives and actions would constitute a truly transformational approach to performance measurement. Or, he might have regaled us with a proliferation of examples of both traditional and transformational measurement. However, he has skillfully woven together all of these elements into a compelling case that not only stands to transform performance measurement, but can stand as a valid, universal approach to management and leadership. And, not only that, but he has detailed at least 34 transitional measurement "maps" to help get a running start.

As directly as he suggests the reader examine their own measurement system, Dr. Spitzer "takes on" established measurement practices, and explains why - from sociological and psychological as well as procedural perspectives - they are not working. At the same time, he deftly paints a landscape of hope and encouragement, detailing the transformational performance measurement approach.

Dean's new book should be on your shelf beside those from which he significantly quotes: Senge, Deming, Argyris, Drucker, et al.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
THE Foundation for Driving Business Success Through People 27 Feb. 2007
By J. Mersereau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Three cheers for Dr. Dean Spitzer who unmasks the holy grail of measurements. You will truly have a unique book when you get your hands on Transforming Performance Measurement. The author does an exceptional job of root cause analysis to make the people side of business success work - and work well. In my mind, he clearly distinguishes between the "letter" and the "spirit" of performance measurement by driving the question of, "What results and behavior do you truly want?" He then leads the reader to understand that measurement is about perception, understanding and insight, not about numbers - in essence, creating an optimal environment for high performance. But understanding is not enough, which brings me to the real gold of this publication - Dr. Spitzer provides the guidance on how to make performance measurement 'come alive' within organizations, rather than just using it for monitoring, justifying, and reporting. Under the status quo, people will continue to be 'victims', rather than 'beneficiaries' unless businesses take informed action on new insights - driven by the transformation of their performance measurements. This book is THE foundation for your organization to make just such a radical change. (Jeff Mersereau, Enablement Leader for IBM Software Group)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An excellent, critical new approach for managers and entrepreneurs 19 Feb. 2007
By Mariano L. Bernardez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Transforming Business Measurement provides a sound methodology and guide to measuring the most elusive (and thus valuable) of all strategic metrics: an organization's transformation.

Companies undergoing turnaround, M&A or radical reinvention processes will find a formidable tool in Spitzer's book.

The book also provides a step-by-step approach to establishing truly strategic, functional and effective measurement systems by measuring critical value creation factors and aligning business models, organization and structure.

Chapters 8 to 14 provide a step-by-step methodology and tools to set up (or straighten up) an organization's measurement system.
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