The goal of Performance Management is to increase the clarity of
strategic, tactical, and operational thinking, employee job satisfaction,
and organizational commitment.
Michael J. Sutton
Chief Gamification Officer/Chief
Funification LLC, USA
In 2016, the Performance Magazine editorial
team interviewed Michael J. Sutton, Chief
Gamification Officer/Chief Knowledge Officer
at Funification LLC, USA. His thoughts and
views on Performance Management are
with Knowledge Management, Business and
Competitive Intelligences, Organizational
Transformation, Entrepreneurship, and
Organizational Analysis and Design. Over the
last 5 years, I have watched the emergence of
a cross-disciplinary field that encompasses all
of my areas of interest, and is building visibility
and profile that many would have never
expected. That cross-disciplinary field has been
Augmented/Virtual Reality, and Simulations
What are your thoughts on the integration of
Performance Management at organizational,
Performance Management (PM) is the
mobilization trigger for continuous
improvement in any enterprise that wishes
to be recognized and respected as a Learning
Organization. The goal of Performance
Management is to increase the clarity of
strategic, tactical, and operational thinking,
employee job satisfaction, and organizational
commitment. Culture will either enable or
Consultant constrain the application of single and double
loop learning, coaching, mentoring, and
feedback to continuous improvement.
My anecdotal, but extensive experience over
the last 45 years in private sector, public
sector, military sector, and the educational
sector would suggest that PM is an ethereal
concept that seldom is anchored to the
foundational principles and values of our
global, national, and local businesses and
institutions. Others may have experienced
a more positive engagement by enterprises
within each sector, but I have seldom seen
any significant relationship and commitment
devised to connect these three levels.
Often I have observed top-down, bottom-
up and middle-out attempts at constructing
a PM framework. However, each business
transformation required to accommodate PM
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) more often
than not remains incomplete. Many of the
barriers are cultural, and this organizational
trait in terms of poorly defined accountability,
lack of responsibility, and implied authority
will impede any transformation. Nevertheless,
to me a significant barrier is behavioural. We
face a mosaic of global educational systems
for employees, management, and executives
that over-emphasizes competition and hinders
to reward of collaboration and cooperation
through smartnerships (“smart partnerships”).
Which will be the major changes in managing
Smartnerships are an emerging mobilization
trigger for individuals, departments, and
organizations. Enterprises, such as Gore
& Associates, Zappos, Valve Software, and
Morning Star, have demonstrated the success
of holacracy (flat management). This emerging
trend in management structures has the power
individual employees, as well as the teams and
organizational entity itself. Nonetheless, such
easily deployed within an entrepreneurial firm
or small to medium-sized enterprise. Large,
bureaucratic organizations lack the agility
and capacity to handle significant change
and pivoting without critical organizational
implosions, since the cultural imperative does
What aspects of Performance Management
That cross-disciplinary field I have previously
identified, Gamification, Serious Games,
Augmented/Virtual Reality, and Simulations
(GSA/VRS), needs to be explored through
more research for a number of performance
management reasons. Although many
enterprises are implementing these
techniques, tools, learning strategies, and
applications quickly within their Training
and Development business units, (Gartner
indicates that 50% of all enterprises have
implemented these approaches to training as
of 2015), metrics are still sketchy that could
point to success. Most current evaluations
of these tools are anecdotal at best and
qualitative at worst.
Much of the imperative for implementing
these tools and techniques has been
increasing the engagement of staff,
managers, and executives in their work and
learning activities. This outcome, coupled
with increasing retention of employees by
increasing job satisfaction through extrinsic
and intrinsic rewards, suggest an immediate
requirement for increasing the validity of
KPIs for both the learning organization,
as well as qualitative measures on the
sustainable impact within the workplace.
To me, the most critical constraints our enterprises and educational institutions face are
managing underperformance and mediocrity, along with the blatant lack of innovative and agile
will construct learning communities and
Communities-of-Practice (COPs) to exchange
existing knowledge nuggets within the minds
of the knowledge workers and to cultivate new
knowledge as a means to trigger innovation
throughout the firm. Such communities
provide the basis for building new competitive
advantages for the enterprise.
The same holds true for higher educational
institutions, who are experiencing decreased
enrollments in North America, wand here
the price and ROI for degrees has come under
increased scrutiny. Many faculty members
have been experimenting over the last 5+ years
with gamification in classroom-based courses,
hybrid courses, and online in courses. An
increasing number of bachelor, masters, and
doctoral programs are strictly online, and more
effective than on campus courses because of
the flexibility and cost of the programs. Thus,
for gamification, serious games, augmented/
virtual reality, and simulations (GSA/VRS)
to address learning outcomes effectively is
paramount for increasing engagement and
retention in universities and colleges.
to be looked at, due to their particular
approach to managing performance, and
their subsequent results?
In terms of gamification in corporate and
business environments, no clear leaders are
yet identifiable, because of the flux in different
platforms and delivery models demonstrating
the business value proposition for GSA/
VRS. However, prominent players can be
identified: Muzzy Lane Software, Microsoft
HoloLens, IBM SmartPlay, BreakAway
Games, Caspian Learning, Innovation Games,
GamEffective, PlayGen, Virtual Heroes, Morf
Media, Badgeville, ExperiencePoint, Artemat,
Designing Digitally, Growth Engineering, and
are building professional certification,
bachelors, masters, and doctoral gamification
to be: Michigan State University, University
of Wisconsin, Savannah College of Art and
Design, Bloomsburg University, Columbia
University, Excelsior College, Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, University of Malta,
Aalborg University (Denmark), University of
Utrecht (Netherlands), HKU University of the
Sciences (Finland), University of Tampere
(Finland), Institute of Technology, Carlow
(Ireland), Mahidol University (Thailand),
U-tad - Centro Universitario de Tecnología y
Arte Digital (Spain).
What Performance Management question
I think three significant questions related
to assessing the value of xx to Performance
Management might be useful in launching
1. What are the KPIs that are useful for
measuring the impact of GSA/VRS on
individual employee engagement, retention,
efficiency, and effectiveness?
2. What KPIs could be useful to demonstrate
team-based and business unit performance
increases when GSA/VRS, as applied to
Training and Development in an enterprise?
3. Which KPIs can be identified or developed
for assessing and evaluating the educational
impact of GSA/VRS on learning outcomes,
student engagement, student retention, and
post-graduation success in the workplace
within institutions of higher education?
Which are main challenges of Performance
The critical challenges of practice-based
Teaching managers to be effective
development coaches for improving
performance of their staff.
management beyond dashboards and
Creating and enforcing accountability in
our business and educational leaders for
Increasing alignment of performance goals
with strategic and tactical business goals.
What should be improved in the use of
Performance Management tools and processes
need to be improved to:
1. Clearly communicate performance goals
and expectations to all employees (in the cases
of business environments) and faculty (in the
cases of educational environments) on a timely,
2. Identify and increase methods for improving
the return on Human Capital, (such as
performance coaching, mentoring, and timely
We need to create and enforce accountability in our business and educational leaders for
developing further the strengths of employees and educators.
3. Apply KPIs to identify performance gaps
(stakeholder, regulator, customer, and supplier
concerns within a finite timeframe.
4. Encourage innovation though employee and
management engagement in enterprises; or in
the case of educational institutions, through
student participation in the development of
educational gaming environments.
5. Transparently post results and outcomes and
celebrate the achievements taking place.
What would you consider as a best practice in
The following, to me, are some of the best
practices in Performance Management:
and educational processes to demonstrate the
validity of gamification within the firm and
and higher education faculty, thus building
sustainable internal expertise, while increasing
engagement and retention.
3. Identify, recognize, foster, and incentivize the
whether the individuals are experienced or
junior executives, managers, employees, staff,
faculty, or students.
Which aspects of Performance Management
should be emphasized during educational
I am totally biased in my response to this
question. In my professional opinion, the
cross-disciplinary emergent field—labeled
Gamification, Serious Games, Augmented/
Virtual Reality, and Simulations—will have the
success of global economic outcomes in terms
of our workplaces and educational institutions.
What are the limits that prevent practitioners
from achieving higher levels of proficiency in
To me, the most critical constraints our
enterprises and educational institutions face are
managing underperformance and mediocrity,
along with the blatant lack of innovative and
agile organizational cultures.
What is your opinion on the emerging trend
of measuring performance outside working
Many of the Gen X, Y, Z and Millennials
are embracing new forms of performance
e.g., FitBit, Nike+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and
Starbucks Rewards. Most of these generations
are comfortable with this personal information
not being private. The GI and Baby Boomer
fostering, and incentivizing
innovative leaders in
enterprises or universities
leads to better business
generations are much less trusting of seeing
public, or hackable to prying eyes.
What personal performance measurement
Very early in my career I adopted Lateral
Thinking, as taught by Edward De Bono, as a
means of increasing my creativity quotient to
perform better in my coursework. Later, an
author, who eventually became a colleague
(Bill Jensen), introduced me to the pragmatic
work activities—Simplicity. As my professional
life became much more hectic, I adopted the
GTD (Getting Things Done) Method by David
Allen to increase my workplace performance.
Most recently, I adapted an approach created
by Ronen Gafni and Simcha Gluck: The New
Entrepreneurz—Changing the Way You Play
Life, resulting in a personal, revolutionary
performance increase that will drive my next
decade of life-long education, mentoring,
coaching, and consulting.
For Consultants: What are the processes and
tools you look at, in order to differentiate a
successful performance management system,
Being that my career has encompassed the
academy, the practitioner environment, and
the consulting world, I was challenged by this
question. Without a touch of reservation, I
propose that for any performance management
system to be successful, it must incorporate
a framework and paradigm based upon
Gamification, Serious Games, Augmented/
Virtual Reality, and Simulations (GSA/VRS).
These techniques will increase motivation,
bolster the capability to incorporate double-
loop learning, build micro learning feedback,
GARYCOKINSA lifetime of continuous improvement, change and development.
Best practice in strategy building
Bridging the gap between man
THREE WAYS TO FOSTER
THE COLLAPSE OF
A FAMOUS TITAN?
+ LIFESTYLE, HARDWARE &
SOFTWARE, AND RECOMMENDED
Insights from practice
AROUND THE WORLD
CONTENTS EDITOR’S NOTE
How to use the Balanced Scorecard in a start-up
Michael J. Sutton
Monica R. Allen
Lim Kah Cheng
Gary Cokins. A lifetime of continuous improvement,
change and development.
AROUND THE WORLD
The Canadian transportation agency. Increasing
performance throughout the years
Guernsey’s opportunities in Fintech
Cluj-Napoca. Best practice in strategy building
Barbados. Bridging the gap between man and
Helpful tips on how to perform an employee
Interviews, questions & emotional intelligence levels
Three ways to foster meaningful change
Happiness and organizational performance
Tesla plans on reviving an out of style business
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Performance on the world’s busiest airport
How United Airlines improve operational
Turkey tourism. The collapse of a famous titan?
Neuroeconomics. Understanding human
Social listening and social intelligence
ASK THE EXPERTS
How can we ensure our KPIs are aligned to the
Clothes and performance. The secret of
Get the most out of your language learning
The relationship between exercise and better
Going up and up. Personal development &
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Examples of documented Key Performance Indicator Definitions for an in depth view on
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14 Functional Area KPI Dictionaries
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13 Interviews. 10 Countries.
Around the World
Performance - related legislation
in 232 countries
Degrees. Subjects. Main Events.
Statistics for the most popular
in Google search
Best-selling books. Latest published
books. Academic articles. Portals.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for 2016.
“Collaborative efforts will grow
continuously and further impact
“New IT developments and
software tools allow countries
around the world to break
INTERVIEWSContent. Methodology. Visual Summary. Introduction. Global Perspectives. Practitioners’. Perspectives. Academics’
Perspectives. Consultants’ Perspectives. Map Snapshot. Country Profiles. Country Legislations. Trends in Search. 2015
Statistics. Media Exposure. Educational Programs. Main Events in the field. Career. Bestselling Books. Latest Published
Books. Journal Articles. Portals. Communities. Corporate Performance Management Software. Business Intelligence
Software. Employee Performance Management Software. | Interviews. Australia. China. Italy. Indonesia. New Zealand.
Pakistan. Saudi Arabia. Singapore. Turkey. United Kingdom. | Keywords analyzed. Analytics. Balanced Scorecard. BI.
Business Intelligence. Business Performance Management. Corporate Performance Management. Dashboard. Employee
Evaluation. Employee Performance. Employee Performance Management. Enterprise Performance Management. Individual
Management Plan. Performance Management System. Performance Measures. Performance Review. Scorecard. Strategic
Performance Management. Strategy Execution. Strategy Implementation. Strategy Management. | Educational Degree
Institutions. Aston University. University College Dublin. Erasmus University Rotterdam. HEC Paris. Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh Business School. University of Leicester. London School of Economics and Political Science. MIP Politecnico
di Milano. University of Liege HEC Management School. École Supérieure de Commerce Paris Europe. Universita degli
Studi di Palermo. Franklin University. New York University Stern School of Business. University of Pennsylvania Wharton
Business School. Regis University. Weber State University. Bellevue University. Georgetown University. University of
Sydney. The University of Adelaide. Monash University. King Abdulaiz University, Faculty of Economics and Administration.
Beirut Arab University, Faculty of Business Administration. United Arab Emirates University. Zayed University College
of Business. Peking University Guanghua School of Management. The Chinese University of Hong Kong. University of
Delhi, Faculty of Management Studies. Africa University, Faculty of Business Administration. University of Cape Town,
Graduate School of Business. North-West University, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. | Performance
Management Events. 2015. Bahrain: Manama; Egypt: Cairo; Hungary: Budapest; Hong Kong; India: Mumbai; New Zealand:
Auckland; Oman: Muscat; Saudi Arabia: Jeddah; Scotland: Edinburgh; Singapore: Singapore; Spain: Barcelona; United Arab
Emirates: Dubai; United Kingdom: London; United States: Florida, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Texas. | Career.
Jobs. Salaries. | Book Categories. Business Performance Management. Corporate Performance Management. Employee
Performance Management. Enterprise Performance Management. Individual Performance Management. Operational
Performance Management. Performance Management. Personal Performance. Strategic Management. Strategy Execution.
| Peer Reviewed Journals. Top 18. | Portals. Top 10 Most Visited. | Communities Analyzed. Balanced Scorecard. Business
Intelligence. Corporate Performance Management. Employee Performance Management. Key Performance Indicators. |
Software. Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Software Solutions. | 232 countries reviewed. 87 with
performance management legislation in place. Abkhazia. Afghanistan. Åland Islands. Albania. Algeria. American Samoa.
Angola. Anguilla. Antarctica. Antigua and Barbuda. Argentina. Armenia. Aruba. Australia. Austria. Azerbaijan. Bahamas.
Bahrain. Bangladesh. Barbados. Belarus. Belgium. Belize. Benin. Bermuda. Bhutan. Bolivia. Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Botswana. Brazil. British Virgin Islands. Brunei. Bulgaria. Burkina Faso. Burma. Burundi. Cambodia. Cameroon. Canada.
Cape Verde. Caribbean Netherlands. Cayman Islands. Central African Republic. Chad. Chile. China. Christmas Islands. Cocos
(Keeling) Islands. Colombia. Comoros. Congo, Democratic Republic of the. Cook Islands. Costa Rica. Cote d’Ivoire. Croatia.
Cuba. Curacao. Cyprus. Czech Republic. Denmark. Djibouti. Dominica. Dominican Republic. Ecuador. Egypt. El Salvador.
Eritrea. Equatorial Guinea. Estonia. Ethiopia. Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Faroe Islands. Fiji. Finland. France. French
Guiana. Gabon. Gambia, The. Georgia. Germany. Ghana. Greece. Grenada. Guadeloupe. Guam. Guernsey. Guyana. Honduras.
Hong Kong. Hungary. Iceland. India. Indonesia. Iran. Iraq. Ireland. Isle of Man. Israel. Italy. Jamaica. Japan. Jersey and Saint
Pierre and Miquelon. Jordan. Kazakhstan. Kenya. Kiribati. Korea, North. Korea, South. Kosovo. Kuwait. Kyrgyzstan. Laos.
Latvia. Lebanon. Lesotho. Liberia. Libya. Liechtenstein. Lithuania. Luxembourg. Macau. Macedonia. Madagascar. Malawi.
Malaysia. Maldives. Mali. Malta. Marshall Islands. Mauritania. Mauritius. Mayotte. Mexico. Micronesia, Federated States of.
Moldova. Monaco. Mongolia. Montserrat. Montenegro. Morocco. Mozambique. Namibia. Nauru. Nepal. Netherlands. New
Caledonia. New Zealand. Nicaragua. Niger. Nigeria. Niue. Norfolk Islands. Norway. Oman, Sultanate of. Pakistan. Palau.
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Réunion. Romania. Russia. Rwanda. Saint Barthelemy. Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Saint Lucia. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Samoa. Sao Tome and Principe. Saudi Arabia. Senegal. Serbia. Seychelles.
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Performance Magazine, Printed Edition. Sixth issue, December, 2016. Content: News. Avoiding the “Never say never”
mentality. A new type of business: analyzing pros’ injuries for sports fans and fantasy players. Investment plan for 2017–
the US retail market. Marketing done slick: the Alex Boone method. Longines launches ski-boot data chip at Solden. The
Smartwatch report: Forecasts, Trends and Market Response. How to increase your Amazon Affiliate revenue. Performance
Management in the 21st century – understanding its core elements. Cover story: How to use the Balanced Scorecaard
in a start-up company. Expert Interviews: Sattar Bawany, Adjunct Professor/CEO and C-Suite Master Executive Coach
at the Curtin Graduate School of Business/Centre for Executive Education – CEE Global, Singapore. Michael J. Sutton,
Chief Gamification Officer/Chief Knowledge Officer at Funification LLC, USA. Dean Spitzer, President of Dean R. Spitzer
& Associates, USA. Monica R. Allen, Director of Strategic Planning and Evaluation at Mecklenburg County Government,
USA. Mahmoud Mansi, Founder of HR Revolution Middle East, Egypt. Lim Kah Cheng, Chief Corporate Services at Human
Resources Development Fund, Malaysia. Portrait. Gary Cokins, Founder of Analytics-Based Performance Mangement LLC,
North Carolina, USA. A lifetime of continuous improvement, change and development. Around the World: The Canadian
Transportation Agency – Increasing performance throughout the years. Guernsey’s Opportunities in FinTech. Cluj-Napoca
– Best Practice in Strategy Building. Barbados – bridging the gap between man and government. Individual Performance.
Helpful tips on how to perform an Employee Performance Review. Interviews, questions & emotional intelligence levels.
Three Ways to Foster Meaningful Change. Organizational Performance. Happiness and Organizational Performance.Tesla
plans on reviving an out of style business practice. Operational Performance. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Airport – Performance on the World’s Busiest Airport. How United Airlines have improved their operational performance.
Turkey Tourism – the Collapse of a Famous Titan?. Performance Improvement. Neuroeconomics – understanding human
economic decisions. Strategy and Performance Management. Social Listening and Social Intelligence Monitoring
Instruments.Ask the Experts.How can we ensure our KPIs are aligned to the strategy?.Lifestyle. Clothes and performance:
the secrets of workplace attire. Get the most out of your Language Learning Apps.The relationship between Exercise and
better Brain Development. Hardware Review. D-Link AC3200 ULTRA Wireless Router – Fast and Efficient. Tobii Dynavox
– EyeMobile Mini: Modern Technology for those with disabilities. Airtame – Connect in the blink of an eye. HP Spectre
x360 – The New and Enhanced Version. Software Review. RescueTime – The Software that Helps You Stay Productive.
Microsoft Teams: Easier Team Communication. KAYAK–Travelling & booking at your fingertips.TimeCamp –Tracking time
and profit. Recommended.Titles to include in your 2016 reading list. Performance Management: Changing Behaviour that
Drives Organizational Effectiveness, by Aubrey C. Daniels, John S. Baileyt. Rewarding Performance Globally: Reconciling
the Global-Local Dilemma, by Fons Trompenaars, Robert J. Greene. Mental Toughness Training Program: The Guide to your
Peak Performance, State Control, and Self-Discipline, by David Hamann. Performance Is Everything: The Way, What and
How of Designing Compensation Plans, by August.Aquila, Coral L. Rice.The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource
for Consultants, Facilitators, Coaches, and Trainers, by Roger M. Schwarz. Leadership Hack: Leading the Millennial Tribe, by
Bruce Langevin.Movie.Moneyball –Sports,Sabermetrics and the Love of the Game.Keywords: Key Performance Indicators
(KPIs). Balanced Scorecard. Performance Management. Performance Measurement. Performance Improvement. Strategy
and Business Planning. Employee Performance Management. Personal Performance Management. Data Analysis. Data
Visualization. Benchmarking. Customer Service Performance. Innovation Performance. Balanced Scorecard Management
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Solution. Problem-solving. Decision-making. Project Management. Project Planning. KPI Selection. KPI Documentation.
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Events. Research. Mission. Vision. Strategy. Best know-how. Data and Facts. Common Sense. Data Accuracy. Performance
Magazine Focus Categories: Editorials. Articles. News. Interviews. Multimedia. Strategy. Balanced Scorecard. KPI.
Organizational Performance. Operational Performance. Individual Performance. Personal Performance. Around the World.
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