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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute — a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

It is better to have no timepiece than one that is wrong

I have long been an advocate for performance measurement ... as a way to motivate people (including myself) to get things done. In fact, one of my leadership mantras is "What gets measured and publicized gets acted on!" But if you're going to make performance measurement work in a way that will create positive intended outcomes, then you have to make sure that you're using the right benchmark.

An old mentor used to say to me: The worst kind of timepiece is the one that is wrong. Think about it ... if you don't have a watch, then you are well aware that you don't know the time. So you know that you don't know — conscious incompetence — and that is valuable information. And then, if you really want to know what time it is, you're going to find someone who has a watch, and ask.

But if you have a clock that is erratically fast or aimlessly slow (and you don't realize that the problem exists), your natural inclination will be to accept the time you see at face value and assume that it is correct. Which will, sooner or later, lead you into trouble.

Which is exactly the danger in having the wrong benchmarks to measure performance. If they are the wrong benchmarks and you don't realize it, you are nevertheless likely to continue to monitor the wrong data and make decisions on that basis. Because that's what the clock says. Even if the clock is wrong. In reality, it might be better to not measure anything at all. At least that way, you know that you're not measuring, and that's better than measuring the wrong things.

So what timepiece are you watching? What are you measuring? Are your benchmarks the right ones? Remember, keeping track of the wrong data is worse than not keeping track at all.

As always, I would love to hear about your experiences. What are the benchmarks that you are tracking? Are they the right ones? Please share your thoughts on the blog at: www.turningmanagersintoleaders.com/blog.


The Globe and Mail — It's time to get rid of performance reviews

Is the performance review obsolete? Is it time to ditch this archaic exercise, which takes up valuable staff hours with no apparent gain? Merge's answer is a resounding "yes" — and she makes the case for getting rid of the performance review in her latest column for The Globe & Mail. Read It's time to get rid of performance reviews.

What does it take to get recognized as a high-potential employee?

If your career objective is to climb the corporate ladder, then you need to get recognized as a high-potential employee, or HiPo. Merge's latest column in Canadian Accountant lays out seven actions you need to take right now in order to become worthy of HiPo status. Read Looking to rise in the ranks? Here are 7 things you need to do now.

New video series kicked off this month

Merge promised that in 2018 she would give you a series of frequent video blogs focusing specifically on zero and low cost ways to motivate, encourage and excite your people, and the first video in this series was recently launched. In Motivating Employees - Strategy #1, Merge discusses the powerful motivational value that comes in your ability to exercise judgement and flexibility in the application of rules.


Turning Managers into Leaders


That Merge can help you facilitate your next high-stakes or complex meeting?

If your meeting is likely to involve large egos, high stakes, complexity, many participants at different levels, or low degrees of trust, then Merge can greatly increase the likelihood of positive outcomes, ultimately saving you time, money and frustration! Merge is an experienced external facilitator who is adept at refocusing people with grace and humor. Whether it's a strategic planning session, a Board planning workshop, an association meeting, Executive team development, staff team-building, creative problem solving, or something else, Merge is skilled at creating a safe and productive meeting environment in which people are engaged, and more efficient in using their time, resulting in prudent decisions and a greater commitment to further action. Visit our Facilitation Services section at our website for more information. Or for a first-hand look at what Merge can help you accomplish, read through our two facilitation case studies (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

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