Winning At Work


A Q&A with Vincent Drucker about Setting Stretch Goals

Vincent Drucker and I recently met to discuss his ideas about management, management philosophies, goal settingand goal-setting strategies. The son of Peter Drucker, Vincent is a successful and respected businessman with his own ideas about controversial topics such as stretch goals.

Lamorte: What are your thoughts about stretch goals?

Drucker: I like the idea of stretch goals. Goals probably should not be set so we can achieve 100%. If you say you’re expected to achieve 100%, individuals “game the system.” This means that people will manipulate the system for a desired outcome. They will work the system for what they are trying to achieve.

Lamorte: If not 100%, then where should the goal be set? And how should it be tracked?

Drucker: I believe the goal should be set at 80%. I realize Google sets its bar at 60-70% for stretch goals, but I feel that 80% is better. And goal-setting software platforms can be useful as long as users set the right goals and everyone is working on the right goals, at the right time.

Lamorte: How can …


Developer Note – 3 Automatic Ways to Increase Security in a New Software Platform

When you’re heads down building a new product, you field lots of questions about the processes you choose to follow and the decisions you make. Answering those questions for customers and prospects made a few of us want to share more technical detail about what we see as a way to encourage dialog around modern, enterprise platform development.

In the coming months, we plan to post developer notes about technologies and processes we’re evaluating—some of which we’ll implement and some of which we won’t—as we build our BetterWorks platform. Our first topic is automated security.

Security is on everyone’s mind. Businesses think about it:at the World Economic Forum in January of this year, Bob Moritz chairman of PWC in the U.S., said cyber security will remain among the top tech concerns this year. Government agencies think about it: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers a guide for security plans for federal IS systems. Develope…


Thoughts about Management: Comparing the Views of Vincent Drucker with Those of His Father, Peter Drucker

As I wrote in my last post, Vincent Drucker recently shared his ideas about management, management philosophies, and goal-setting strategies with me in a one-on-one conversations. Vincent is the son of Peter Drucker, who may be best known as the creator of Management By Objectives (MBO) or more generally as “the man who invented management.”

Here’s how Vincent thinks about some of the topics:

Top-Down Goal Setting

Peter believed that managers need to identify and set objectives both for themselves, their units, and their organizations, and that setting the right objectives was crucial to achieving the right results. His MBO four-step process showed how goal setting would work in an organization to successfully motivate employees:

Managers and employees jointly set objectives for the employee
Managers develop action plans
Managers and employees periodically review the employee’s performance
The manager makes …


Moneyball 2.0 – Swinging Toward Organizational Alignment

“It's about getting things down to one number. Using the stats the way we read them, we'll find value in players that no one else can see.” That’s what Peter Brand told Billy Beane in the hit movie Moneyball. But that was just the beginning.

As a diehard Oakland A's fan, I grew up watching the “Bash Brothers” (a.k.a. Mark McGwire & Jose Canseco) and the “King of Steal” (a.k.a. Ricky Henderson) dominate the American League West. Then when the team couldn’t seem to win much during the ‘90s, I suffered along with my fellow fans. Thankfully, Billy Beane arrived in 1998 to take the A's where no team had gone before—to the business of individual-centric baseball. By analyzing statistics and isolating performance about each individual player, the A's were able to better predict his overall contribution to the team to win more  games.

It works, but “the smartest teams aren’t stopping there,” according to a recent article in the Atlantic. “Instead they are changing their analysis to look at the team as a whole.” Where Moneyball 1.0 answered the question – “Who is the better player?”  Moneyball…


Thoughts About Goal Setting from Vincent Drucker

I recently had the good fortune to sit down and discuss management, management philosophies, and goal setting strategies with Vincent Drucker at his home in Northern California. Vincent, a successful business executive, is the son of Peter Drucker, considered one of the best-known and most widely influential thinkers and writers on the subject of management theory and practice.

We didn’t waste any time getting right into the heart of the topics. Vincent posed this question to frame our discussion: “Are an individual’s goals simply designed to further company goals or should there also be a proficiency component whereby the goals which are set also include those that are designed to enable the individual to contribute more later?”  

Traditional goal setting approaches, such as the elder Drucker’s Management by Objectives model have the bottom line in mind—how much an individual will produce and how much money he or she will earn for the firm. This philosophy of setting goals sees an individual worker as an asset. Peter Drucker believed talented people were essential ingredients to every successful enterpr…


Measuring Success: You Need to Keep Score

Imagine competing in any sport without a scoreboard. Unless you are under the age of 8, you wouldn’t think of it. Unfortunately, many Customer Success teams function in a “sports without scores” environment. And to make matters worse, we don’t really know what it takes to win the game.

What is Success?

As Customer Success leaders, we are chartered with the responsibility of helping our customers achieve value with our product and services. We need to secure the renewal. We need to drive customer advocacy. Our Net Promoter Score needs to increase. However, if we don’t know what value is in the eyes of our customers … if we don’t know what they consider a “win” in using our product … we are wandering aimlessly through this relationship and can wind up short in the final inning. The best way to achieve success is to start with an understanding of the value your customers want to achieve, then set goals to achieve it.

The Hand-off

To win or lose is often times determined at the start of your customer relationship. The hand-off from sales is one of the most important milestones in understanding how your customer de…

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