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A Look Into the KPI Selection Workshop Notification

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Designing and implementing a Performance Management System (PMS) based on performance measurement tools such as key performance indicators (KPIs) is a thorough step-by-step process. It requires effective management of all the phases of the implementation process and proper allocation of responsibilities to all the stakeholders involved. With this, the KPI implementation project plan lays emphasis on conducting  KPI selection workshops.

Whether or not the PMS within your organization is comprehensive, KPIs can be measured across organizational layers: Corporate/Organizational, Divisional, Departmental, or Individual/Employee levels in accordance with the organizational context. For these performance indicators to be measured in standardized tools, such as a balanced scorecard, they need to be selected, and such selection should occur during dedicated meetings.

Such meetings require the attendance of specifically allocated stakeholders to provide constructive insights and foster a corporate community culture based on continuous improvement. As a line of practice, the participants of these workshops hold positions, such as department heads, strategists, performance analysts, members of the performance management office, and allocated members of the Board, all based on their availability. Note that other members could attend the workshops as per company practice. Attendance at these important meetings requires an invitation, though.

The invitation is a crucial, pre-workshop phase, as it sets the tone, pace, and mindset of the delegates who will join the event. Such invitation is generally in the form of an email with quite some content and attached materials. The email aims to provide contextualization and reasoning behind the request to certain members of the organization to attend the workshops. It is a request that comes from the Strategy Office or the Performance Management Office or whoever oversees the Performance Management practices in the organization, at least two to three weeks in advance of the date of the event.

What should be included in the KPI selection workshops invitation?

  • Brief introduction about the upcoming workshop;
  • Logistical information such as date, time, and location of the event;
  • Detailed KPI selection workshop agenda;
  • Reading materials and corporate documentation attached

What are the key documents to be attached to mentally prepare our participants and make this workshop a success?

  1. As a line of practice, it is recommended to share educational materials, prepared by the Performance Management Office, related to KPI selection, KPI Alignment practices, and Performance Measurement and Management tools. The delegates, whether or not they are practitioners in the field, are invited to go through the materials;
  2. Strategic and Performance Management tools linked to previous performance cycles, such as Corporate Strategy Plan, Organizational Scorecards, Dashboards, and Portfolio of Initiatives, must be included.
  3. In certain organizational contexts, a written note from top management and C-Suites may be added in order to highlight one factor: The involvement and support of top management in the design and implementation of the framework. This note could be very beneficial buy-in wise as well.

Setting the right tone and mindset in preparation for the workshop is very much advised. The delegates, especially after the workshops occur, will act as champions in disseminating knowledge and replicating the KPI best practices in their respective departments. Furthermore, it will support the ultimate purpose of securing the much-required buy-in from middle managers and employees across departments towards the PMS design.

If you would like to learn more about KPI selection practices and the follow-up activities to the KPI selection workshops, we kindly invite you to sign up for The KPI Institute’s Certified KPI Professional and Practitioner training course. It will lead you through all the phases of the KPI implementation project plan.

Wishing you the best of performance!

Hygge: Exploring the Danish Concept of Comfort

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Derived from Danish culture, hygge (pronounced as hoo-gah) has become one of the many influential concepts society has today in creating spaces and building community. Looking back to its origins when Denmark and Norway were bounded as a kingdom, hygge actually comes from the Norwegian language that could be translated into “well-being”. In the early 1800s, the Danes adopted it as a concept to refer to “happiness” and it has been embodied in the heart of Danish culture ever since.

What does hygge look like in the present day? Currently, hygge is showing a strong, promising continuity in the 21st century among the Danes and has expanded its reach around the world through popular literature, such as “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wiking. There is no strict implementation as the concept itself is embedded in both tangible and intangible aspects of Danish culture. 

On the tangible part, hygge is often associated with the coziness of a place. Its concept of simplicity and its nature as an appreciation for the simple joys in life has become a popular trend in interior and exterior design. It promotes a kind of aesthetic that gives spaces a rustic and homey feeling. Additionally, a 2018 research showed hygge as a principle that can be applied to build a sustainable, smart home due to its low-energy approach.

Meanwhile, the intangible value of hygge lies within social relationships. The Danes are known for their close-knitted relationships with friends and families which encourages equality and strong social circles. In this manner, hygge is not only manifested as a certain decor for social events but also as the sense of belonging resulting from being connected with loved ones.

Developing hygge through social connections

According to The World Happiness Report 2020, Nordic countries are among the happiest countries in the world, including Denmark. One of the reasons for this is their great respect for friendships and relationships with their loved ones. Specifically, the Danes tend to form small social circles with whom they bond and spend their hygge time. The significant level of social and institutional trust contributes to the increase in happiness and reduction of social inequality.

In the context of daily life, hygge is manifested through thoughtfulness in social interactions. This implies that no one competes to get into the center of attention so that everybody receives a fair chance to participate and feel welcomed. Equality and togetherness are the fundamental elements of hygge, and thus, the very heart of Danish culture.

Hygge is embedded in the way people make each other feel comfortable and relaxed. A lot of activities can be done to share the warmth of hygge with your loved ones, even as simple as hanging out after work or having a movie night on the weekend. The idea is to have quality time and make meaningful memories through small things.

Your home can be a good start to build a hygge kind of living. Someone once said that the “home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.” Organizing your home in a way that makes others feel comfortable and welcomed is the next aspect of hygge.

Creating a hygge home

The main focus of a hygge home is how to create a hygge-like atmosphere, or a hyggelig as the Danes like to call it. Take a look around your own home and check the space and materials; can you find any sign of hygge? Below are some key aspects worth considering.

  1. Hyggekrog

    Roughly translated as a nook, hyggekrog is an important part of a Danish home. This is basically a reading spot where you can cozy up with a warm blanket, read your favorite book, or relax with a cup of warm beverage. Several seating options are available, with the simplest one being an armchair. If you want to go all-in, you can opt for a sofa bed, corner sofa, or add a nice ottoman to your armchair arrangement.

    There is no fixed location to build a hyggekrog; some might have it in the living room, kitchen, or study room. It would be a plus point if the hyggekrog is placed by the window so you may get a natural ambiance to add to the coziness. You can also spruce the space up with some thick knitted blankets and cushions. Placing a big wooden bookshelf nearby would be a great idea as well to complete the hyggekrog setup.

  2. Lighting

    Lighting is another core aspect of hygge as it centers around aesthetic and sustainable values in being visually pleasing and environmentally friendly. Due to the western origin of hygge, having a fireplace is a crucial component as it not only helps set the mood but is also a necessity for people to survive the cold winter. It is also manifested through the use of natural light, candles, and low-energy electric lighting.

    A fireplace might not be applicable for those living in other parts of the world that don’t have four seasons. An alternative element you can utilize is a candle which is a must-have item to create the perfect hyggelig ambiance. In Denmark, organic candles tend to be preferred over scented ones to preserve the natural simplicity of hygge, but of course, this is subject to personal preference.

  1. Furniture and decoration

    The highlight of hygge decor is the use of natural things such as items made of wood, leaves, and roots. Wooden chairs, plants by the windowsill, and an acorn wreath on the wall are just some examples of how you can make use of such rustic items. They make a perfect pair with candles or a fireplace to amplify the jolly and warm atmosphere, especially for a hyggelig evening with family and friends.

    Vintage items such as ceramics are also often seen in a hygge home. Aside from their aesthetic aspects, vintage items usually hold a sentimental, nostalgic value that elicits happiness by remembering the good old times. You can reuse some old items from your childhood and breathe new life into them as decor, or find something interesting in a nearby vintage shop. On that note, be mindful of your purchase so that it will not end up as clutter.

To conclude, the concept of hygge emphasizes generating happiness through the connection between people and the environment. Appreciating the simple joys of life is the main value that inspires the way the Danes configure their surroundings. Christmas may be a perfect season to apply hygge in your home as you gather with loved ones to celebrate and have a good time. Even if you do not celebrate it, practicing hygge will bring warmth into your house during seasons of warmth and cold, sun and rain, and all year round.

The Four Horsemen of the Romantic Relationship Apocalypse

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Romantic relationships, like any other relationships in life, are important to fulfill one’s needs for intimacy and social connections. However, not all romantic relationships are about rainbows and butterflies. It also goes through periods and stages of development and deterioration. This article will explain The Four Horsemen of romantic relationships – the most common negative patterns and behaviors that might lead to relationships deterioration – and how to avoid and eliminate them.

The Four Horsemen

In Christianity, The Four Horsemen are symbols of the catastrophic effect of destruction that will come to earth at the end of time. They are conquest, war and bloodshed, famine, and death. Dr. John Gottman applies this concept of destruction into a romantic relationship and describes them as negative communication patterns that, if they keep on occurring, might result in a failed or a very unhappy relationship. For Gottman, these are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. 

  • Criticism

    Criticism is the first indicator of a growing problem in a romantic relationship that has the potential to ruin its foundation. According to Merriam-Webster, this is “the act of expressing disapproval and of noting the problems or faults of a person or thing”. It is different from a complaint; a complaint addresses the specific issue while criticism attacks the person’s characteristics. When criticism is omnipresent, it causes the victim to feel abused and hurt; constant criticism will escalate the pattern with increasing frequency and intensity which may lead to the next horseman.

  • Contempt

    The next horseman is contempt which is fueled by the long-simmering of unfavorable feelings and thoughts about a partner and undertaking a position of moral superiority over them. Contempt is the arrogant disdain, denigration, and dismissal of the other’s concerns. It involves sarcasm, name-calling, ridicule, and condescension, among other things. When a person communicates with contempt towards their partner, the receiver is made to feel discounted, despised, and worthless; it erodes self-esteem, confidence, and sense of self.

  • Defensiveness

    Defensiveness is typically a response to criticism. When an individual believes to be wrongfully accused by their partner, they look for justifications and play the innocent victim to get their partner to back off. Although it is normal for a person to protect themselves if they feel attacked, defensiveness might escalate the conflict and issue when the other person does not back down. This is because defensiveness is essentially reverse blaming the other partner, preventing a healthy conflict resolution.

  • Stonewalling

    The last and the fourth horseman is stonewalling or intentionally refusing to communicate. When someone stonewalls, it’s easy to assume that they’re angry, impolite, childish, or just uninterested in interacting with others or the world. Tuning out, turning away, pretending to be busy, or indulging in compulsive or diverting tasks are all examples of stonewalling behaviors.

    More criticism and contempt lead to more defensiveness; eventually, one person will withdraw. The individual who withdraws is usually overwhelmed and begins to shut down as means of self-soothing and calming down. While shutting down during an argument – or sometimes known as the silent treatment – is one method to cope, it can be cruel, irritating, and destructive to the relationship.

The Antidote

The first step to deal with and eliminate the four horsemen is to acknowledge them when they occur. The next step is to replace these unhealthy communication and conflict patterns and behaviors with productive, healthy ones.

  • The “I” statement

    Each partner can express how they feel and think using the “I” statement. This can be accomplished by avoiding the use of the word “you” which can imply blame. Instead, talk about feelings using “I” statements and express what is needed in a positive manner.

  • Appreciation and respect

    Creating a positive perspective in a relationship involves consistently expressing appreciation, gratitude, tenderness, and respect for each other. This will work as a buffer against negative feelings. The more positive one feels towards themselves, their partner, and the relationship, the less likely they are to feel or express contempt.

  • Invest in the Emotional Bank Account

    An Emotional Bank Account is like a financial bank account; instead of depositing or withdrawing money, couples do it with love, affection, and respect through their words and actions. In a six-year follow-up research of newlywed couples by the Gottman Institute, those who stayed married turned to their partner’s attempts for emotional connection 86% of the time in the lab, while those who divorced averaged at 33%. The difference lies in the way they managed their Emotional Bank Account. A way to maintain the balance of the Emotional Bank Account is by following the 5:1 ratio, which entails having five or more positive interactions for every negative interaction, even during disagreement and arguments.

  • Take time outs and self-soothe

    Allowing for timeouts during a conflict can help couples avoid feeling overwhelmed. If it feels like one partner is stonewalling during a conflict, they should stop the discussion and take a break. While taking a break, they should do something else that calms both down. Once both feel ready, the couple can return to the conversation and resolve the conflict in a calmer way.

Every relationship is not perfect. Each person’s actions and attitude toward it define and predict the health and success of the relationship. By acknowledging and working towards eliminating these horsemen, couples can progress towards building a deeply meaningful relationship that is full of trust and intimacy.

Why Businesses Shouldn’t Miss Out On Big Data and AI

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“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.” 

That statement from The Economist in 2017 cannot be overstated. Businesses in all shapes and sizes must realize that adapting to an already data-driven world is the only way to survive, connect, and thrive.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was introduced in the 1950s by a computer researcher named John McCarthy. He defined AI as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”

Nowadays, innovation pioneers like Microsoft, Google, and IBM have made strides in AI advancement to back cloud analytics, client engagement, and more. AI has become a program outlined to complete tasks that would regularly require human capabilities or input. AI is considered an innovation that takes after or mirrors human insights and actions, including speech, reviewing pictures, or making a conversation. To a great extent, AI can do those things by recognizing designs inside the information and reacting based on pre-defined rationale.

On the other hand, big data is an extensive, fast, and diverse information resource that requires advanced forms of processing to improve decision making, knowledge generation, and process optimization. 

Big data describes  sets of information created in different formats and through different sources, such as software applications, IoT sensors, customer feedback surveys, videos, and images.. 

Big datasets are developed by collecting large amounts of information from real-time data streams, established databases, or legacy datasets. As the environment constantly changes and grows, we need powerful software to protect, classify, and explain information for both short-term and long-term use. 

Organizations often use a combination of cloud-based applications and data warehousing tools to develop analytic architectures that collect, organize, and visualize data. AI-powered tools are central to tailoring many of these moving parts to consistent insights that support decision-making.

Linking Up Big Data and AI for Business

Implementing big data with AI has already been vital for many businesses that aim to have a competitive edge. It doesn’t really matter whether it is a new company or an established leader in the market. They use data-driven strategies to turn information into perceptible value. It is common to find big data in almost every industry, from IT and banking to agriculture and healthcare.

Business experts acknowledge that big data and AI can create new ideas for growth and expansion. There is even a possibility that a new type of business will become popular soon: data analysis and aggregation companies for particular industries. The purpose of those organizations is to process enormous flows of data and generate insights. Before this happens, businesses should empower their big data capabilities intensively. In the past, estimations were made based on the retroactive point of view. Leveraging real-time analysis, big data can empower predictions and allow strategists to test assumptions and theories faster.

Data and AI are typically applied to analytics and automation, helping businesses transform their operations in the process.

Analytics tools like Microsoft, Azure, and Synapse help organizations predict or identify trends that inform decision-making around product development, service delivery, workflows, and more. Additionally, your data will be organized into dashboard visualizations, reports, charts, and graphs for readability.

Big data and AI in Health

The global market for AI-driven health care is expected to register a CAGR of 40 percent through 2021 and to up from USD 600 million in 2014. Further advances in AI and big data provide developing countries with opportunities to solve existing challenges in the health care access of their populations. AI combined with robotics and IoMT could also help developing countries address healthcare problems and meet SDG 3 on good health and well-being. AI can be deployed in health training, keeping well, early disease detection, diagnosis, decision-making, treatment, end-of-life care, and health research. For instance, AI can outperform radiologists in cancer screening, particularly in patients with lung cancer. Results suggest that the use of AI can cut false positives by 11 percent.

Big data and AI in Agriculture

Today’s global population of 7.6 billion is expected to rise to 9.8 billion by 2050, with half of the world’s population growth concentrated in nine countries, such as India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, Uganda, and Indonesia. 

The growing demand for food will put massive pressure on the use of water and soil. All of this will be exacerbated by climate change and global warming. 

Big data and AI in Education

AI can reshape high-quality education and learning through precisely targeted and individually customized human capital investments. Incorporating AI into online courses enhances access to affordable education and improves learning and employment in emerging markets. Also, AI technologies can ensure equitable and inclusive access to education, providing marginalized people and communities, such as persons with disabilities, refugees, and those out of school or living in isolated communities, with access to appropriate learning opportunities.

Expected Economic Gains from AI Worldwide

AI could contribute up to USD 15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current GDP of China and India combined. Of this, USD 6.6 trillion will be derived from increased productivity and USD 9.1 trillion from the knock-on effects of consumption. The total projected impact for Africa and Asia-Pacific markets would be USD 1.2 trillion. For comparison, the combined 2019 GDP for all countries in sub-Saharan Africa was USD 1.8 trillion. Thus, the successful deployment of AI and big data would open up a world of opportunities for developing countries.

The big data market is expected to grow tremendously over the projected years. One of the important reasons is the rapid increase in the amount of structured and unstructured data. Factors include the increasing penetration of technology and the proliferation of smartphones in all areas of life. This leads to a large amount of data. 

Other industries such as healthcare, utilities, and banking make extensive use of online platforms to provide enhanced services to their customers. 

Intelligent use of big data in day-to-day operations enables you to make data-driven decisions and respond quickly to market trends that have a direct impact on business performance.

If you would like to learn more about the best practices for analyzing data, sign up for The KPI Institute’s Data Analysis Certification.

Why It is Time to Revisit the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard

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Image source: Matt Jones | Unsplash

The world is moving towards a more sustainable business practice. Investors, advocacy groups, and academics have asked corporations to take on added purpose beyond the traditional pursuit of shareholder value. Even the business leaders from Business Roundtable stated that major companies are investing in their employees and communities because they realize it is the only way to achieve long-term success.

The fundamental concept behind this shift is the Triple Bottom Line (TBL), where companies must measure not only their financial performance but also their environmental and societal performance as well. The TBL concept is not new; the term had been coined by John Elkington in the 1990s. Later in 2003, Amanco pioneered in measuring the impact of its TBL strategy, building on the idea of Balanced Scorecard (BSC) from Kaplan and Norton. The new sustainability BSC included environmental and social dimensions in addition to the basic dimensions of the initial BSC.

In a recent article, Kaplan stated that the demands for sustainability today are even higher. In summary, there are three different perspectives from three main stakeholders categories:

  • Customers: The customers’ preferences in every product category shifted towards more sustainable products. Over the past five years, there is a 71% rise in online searches for sustainable goods globally in countries with either developed or emerging economies.
  • Employee: Reports of unsafe working conditions at Amazon warehouses caused many criticisms. Their employees protested for fair pay and COVID protection. This example reflects the importance of social and ethical issues. Fulfilled workers are more loyal and likely to stay compared to those who only work for a weekly paycheck. Worse, incidents like this would probably affect consumers’ perception badly and hurt the company’s brand image.
  • Environment and social: As more consumers demand transparency and accountability, companies must consider the environmental and social aspects in every decision they make. For example, major fashion brands are beginning to pay attention to the demand for more sustainable practices.

The stakeholders have always played an important role in the business ecosystem. But in today’s post-pandemic era, the stakeholders expect even more from companies in terms of environment (e.g., sustainability, health) and social (e.g., inclusive, ethics, social welfare) aspects. As with any crisis, there are chances to learn and make a positive difference.

This article aims to remind companies of the criticality of environment and social dimensions. Taking note of its importance, this might be the opportunity to revisit the idea of sustainability BSC. The sustainability BSC can be used as a groundwork for a future BSC that is environmentally, socially, and ethically responsible. For more on utilizing the Balanced Scorecard, The KPI Institute has developed the Certified Balanced Scorecard Management System Professional to help organizations maximize the tools’ potential.

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