Expert Interview – Enrique Romero Zabaleta, Operations Director LATAM & Spain, Insightforce Strategy Management Consultants, Mexico
For the report Performance Management in 2012, The KPI Institute conducted 12 semi-structured interviews with practitioners, academics and consultants, who offered rich insights into the state of Performance Management as a discipline.
Enrique Romero Zabaleta, Operations Director LATAM & Spain at Insightforce Strategy Management Consultants Mexico was one of the consultants that The KPI Institute interviewed.
1. What does the term Performance Management mean to you?
To me, it means the correct management of resources to obtain the expected results on a particular project, business, government issues, etc.
2. What drives interest in Performance Management?
For us, as leaders we need to make things right obviously. So we need to contribute to society and cover our personal performance ambition. To achieve that, Performance Management skills are a must, to any leader that wants to achieve results.
3. What are your thoughts on the relationship between performance management at organizational, departmental and individual level?
Well, at organizational level, I would say that leadership or leaders need to all lined up resources to achieve its expected results in a specific business or project.
As at area level, I would say that the people who are involved or committed to a project need to work all together to go to the overall result of the company or the project whatever, so they have to be working together to achieve the expected results.
As an individual, being an important part in the good performance of the processes to achieve group objectives. I would say it in one word: commitment. Really passion for what you do.
4. What are the 2012 key trends in Performance Management from the perspective of your knowledge and experience in this field?
It depends. It depends on the country that you are working on. In developed countries I would say strategy is crucial, how to develop clear strategies, well communicated to different areas, with well-defined projects and responsibility in order to focus efforts and achieve the expected results are key.
If you’re working in developing countries, I would say that it will be more focused on inventory, production and distribution operations with key performance indicators. It depends on which country you are working on, type of business and social maturity.
5. What aspects of performance management should be explored more through research?
From my experience working with management boards, I would say the direct relationship between leadership, right objectives and labor force.
It is really important to work together between leaders and labor force. As I mentioned before, it depends on where you are working. In Europe, this relationship is more advanced than in Latin America. In Latin America, leaders have to work more with the labor force, clarify their vision (strategy) and the communication process.
6. Please provide some examples of organizations which you would recommend for study due to their approach to performance management and achievements?
There are plenty of examples. I would say BIMBO is an incredible example of performance management and the relationship with their labor force. It’s the biggest bakery company in the world. It’s Mexican. It’s very advanced in how they work with the performance management and how they work with the labor force. Every person who works in BIMBO in Mexico, Latin America is very proud of working for that company. This is the key point that differentiates BIMBO from other companies.
There are some companies like BIMBO in developing markets, but it`s not very usual as it is in developed markets.
Another example would be TETRAPAK, a Swedish company.
TETRAPAK is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of packaging material, complete systems for processing, packaging and distribution for liquid food products, It`s a good example of efficiency and focus strategy.
7. Which are the main challenges of Performance Management in practice today?
I would say that the world has changed. Now the operations of the companies are globally. Due to global markets and operations worldwide, we are experimenting an increase in the challenges to standardize and focus a global strategy, find the talent and implement the overall KPIs in each country.
Twenty years ago, companies worked locally, their staff work locally, mainly suppliers where located in the same country with the same culture and idiosyncrasy.
Today we are part of a global open market, with global customers, with global operations.
The main challenges of Performance Management would be to work with these issues at the same time in different markets and countries.
8. What do you think should be improved in the use of performance management tools and processes?
From my experience in Europe and Latin America, I would say again that it’s really different, if you work in a developed market or in a developing market.
In first world countries where business processes and culture are more stabilized, you have to be more focused on strategy and R&D investments.
In developing countries, business process management or key performance indicators and IT investment are the main challenges for the near future.
9. What would you consider best practice in performance management?
Performance best practice = vision and strategy communication.
There are plenty of good examples where companies have a good strategy with solid business plans but, the communication of it to the different levels of the organization leaves many questions….
So the communication and implementation of the strategy would be also very important. Please take into account in the implementation strategy phase the differentiation between human resources from different parts of the world, culture, etc.
10. Which aspects of performance management should be emphasized during educational programs?
Leadership, Strategy, project management, KPIs, human resources management, results orientation, R&D investments. Obviously, depending on the country, sector, and cultural behavior we need to prioritize the efforts.
I think that Undergraduate and MBA teachers have to be connected with the business world, to know exactly what is going on.
Management leaders at all levels of the organization have to be more prepared on these skills than twenty years ago.
11. What are the barriers to achieving higher levels of proficiency in performance management among practitioners?
In Europe, you have a high level of educated population with different profiles which facilitate the development of business. There is no hungry, so leaders must work more on motivation and innovation issues to achieve results.
In developing countries where lack of talent is more common, leaders must work more on operation efficiency, KPI, BPM projects, training courses, etc.
For both markets, ethical management issues, business image and social contribution are key for the medium and long term.
12. What Performance Management question would you like to have answered?
As a consultant I highly recommend to have time to read about new findings of how to manage resources in a better way and using new technologies to be actualized in these issues. But finally, it relies more on good and commitment leadership.
So I would like to receive updates and new findings to do things in a better and efficient way.
13. As a consultant, what are the most common issues that your customers raised related to Performance Management?
In Europe or developed countries: strategy issues of performance results affecting the global P&L statements and R&D investments. Clear strategies of where we would like to be in the next five to ten years.
In Latin America, we work more on projects related to BPM, increase on productivity, new organizational charts, SCM, marketing plans, distribution costs, etc. Finally, due to a higher competition, we help our customers in the search of proficiency talent needed to be more competitive.
For more interviews of practitioners, academics and consultants we kindly invite you to read Performance Management in 2012.
Coming soon – Performance Management in 2013.
Image Source: Performance Management in 2012