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Sustainability and Performance with Professor Rick Edgeman, of ICOA and the AU-Herning University of Aarhus, Denmark

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Given The KPI Institute’s presence at the PMA 2014 Conference, the PERFORMANCE Magazine team was able to interview some of the most highly skilled academics and practitioners in the field of Performance Management.

Rick Edgeman, Professor of Sustainability & Performance at the Interdisciplinary Center for Organizational Architecture (ICOA), Aarhus University of Denmark, spoke with the PERFORMANCE Magazine team about sustainable enterprise excellence.

Signaling perceivable challenges in today’s performance management field, Professor Edgeman states that management itself is the current concern, where the organizational design is the key aspect that needs attention.

In his opinion, ideally, the performance management and measurement system should provide 2 things:

  • Feedback;
  • Foresight.

Discussing some top trends in Performance Management for the year 2014, Professor Edgeman outlines the following priorities:

  • Overcoming the economic downturn, were enterprises will most likely become careful about financial performance;
  • Responsibility, in each aspect, from Social Responsibility to Ecological Responsibility and CSR. Along with which comes the increasing interest for an enterprise’s impact, seeing as today customers will detach from a product, if they dislike a company’s behavior.

Professor Edgeman stated: “It’s making sure that the company is responsible for every product that they produce, all the way from the beginning, through its lifecycle and after use.”

Signaling some companies to be looked at, for their approach to performance management and subsequent results, Rick Edgeman, suggests SAP and Microsoft, due to their management systems, policies and worldwide influence.

Speaking of measuring responsibility and processes, not merely products, Professor Edgeman states:

“We’re very good with tangible, physical things we can put our hands on! We’re much less good about things that are ideas! Those are phenomenally more difficult to measure!”

Asked to forecast some future trends and directions for research he stated that there is a need to see how enterprise performance and enterprise sustainability connect to every dimension of enterprise performance.

Moreover, this acknowledgement needs to be made considering the impact, the legacy we leave for posterity, both as individuals and corporations . Hence, Professor Edgeman cautions that we need to connect impact and indicators to get the accurate feedback.

In his opinion enterprises need to learn to say “Can we make a positive difference? And can we do it in a way that is responsible?”.

In the end of the interview, Professor Edgeman shared a thought on Personal Performance, especially on using metrics for personal performance. He noted that the trend is important and encouraged by certain institutions or organisms.

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