We all know the famous Einstein formula e=mc² ; but do you know that e=mc is another powerful formula for business and project leaders as well? Let me share one of my tactics by explaining this formula.

E (Efficiency) = M (Motivation) x C (Competence)

This formula is used to identify the reasons why a person is not performing and help define an action plan to enhance the situation for the individual and for management.

A top performer (described here as someone that is efficient) has both M (high Motivation) and C (high Competence).

An average performer is someone having either a low M (not motivated) or a low C (not competent).

A low performer is someone having neither M (not motivated) nor C (not competent for the job).

If the issue is more on the M (Motivation) then find the demotivating aspect and address it. I’d look at their level of interest in the projects, evolution opportunities, salary, daily activity, relationship with colleagues, commute to work, personal issues, etc…

If the issue is more on the C (Competences) then I’d look at training, gaining knowledge from other teammates, increased support, and performance management.

By identifying if it’s M or C or a combination of the two, you will be able to define the right plan to improve the efficiency and make the person happier and more productive for you and the team. It’s really powerful!

I’ve been using this formula for many years as a leader and as a program manager. It has guided me to help and develop many people.

To be noted: someone can be inefficient in a position and really a top performer in another one and vice versa,.. that is where it’s the most interesting   .

It is possible to use this formula for yourself as well – How can I be a top performer for this customer/on this team? Do I need more C or M? Do I need training? (C) Do I need more assistance, visibility, more interest? (M) By analyzing these 2 aspects, it is easier to take the right actions to improve performance.

Let me ask you a question – From your perspective, what is easier to improve; is it the M, or is it the C?

Please share your thoughts.



Written by Jean-Christophe Laurent, jclaurent@penonpartners.com, CEO at Penon Partners

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