Troubador Present Sense

Released: 28/09/2019

ISBN: 9781838591090

Format: Paperback

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Present Sense

A Practical Guide to the Science of Measuring Performance and the Art of Communicating it, with the


In this provocative yet practical guidebook Steve Morlidge demonstrates why the approach and methods of performance reporting that all information professionals have been taught fails, and what we need to do differently to help us make sense of the dynamic, complex and data rich world in which we now live and work.

Reporting on performance should not be treated as worthy but dull, requiring no more than routine comparisons of actual against targets. This traditional approach is based on the false premise organisations can be managed as if they were a simple mechanical system operating in a predictable environment. And the methods associated with it, such as variance analyses and data tables that are used to measure and communicate performance, are completely inadequate. 

Instead, Morlidge argues performance reporting should be reconceived as an act of perception conducted on behalf of the organisation, helping to make sense of the sensory inputs (data) that it has at its disposal. And to do so effectively performance reporters need to learn from and exploit the strengths of our own brains, compensate for its weaknesses and communicate in a way that makes it easy for their audience’s brains to assimilate.

Drawing on the latest insights from cognitive science in this book you will learn:

• how to bring a dynamic perspective into performance reporting
• how to deploy a set of simple tools to help speared the signal from the noise inherent in large data sets and to make sound inferences
• how to set goals intelligently
• about the grammar of data visualization and how use it to design powerful and simple reports 

In this way information professionals are uniquely charged with the responsibility for creating the shared consciousness that is a prerequisite for organisations to effectively respond and adapt to their environments.

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Steve Morlidge

Steve Morlidge has 30 years of practical experience in designing and running performance management systems in Unilever, including three years as the lead of a global change project. He is a former chairman of the European Beyond Budgeting Round Table and now works as a management thinker, writer and speaker, drawing on his years of experience at the leading edge of performance management thought and practice.

He is driven by an obsession with understanding how organizations work, and can be made to work better for the benefit of the organization and its shareholders but also for the people who work within it, whose experience of work is rarely fulfilling and purposeful. This manifests itself in an interest in both the philosophy and science of social organizations and the implications for day to day practice and practioners.

Steve Morlidge published Future Ready: How to Master Business Forecasting, John Wiley, in 2010, and ‘The Little Book of Beyond Budgeting’ published by Matador in early 2017. He is on the editorial board of Foresight, a forecasting practitioner’s journal published by the International Institute of Forecasting to which he regularly contributes. He is also a cofounder of CatchBull, a supplier of cutting edge forecasting performance management software.

Steve Morlidge is a visiting fellow at Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK and has a PhD from Hull Business School in Yorkshire, UK focusing on the application of systems concepts to the design of complex organizations. He completed his BA with honors, and he is a qualified management accountant (CIMA).

He is married to Sue and has three grown children and a small white dog and lives in the Surrey countryside, south of London.

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