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Corporate Twister - HR Performance Management Planning

Nimble Global

Nimble Global

Dodging "Corporate Twister" Through Collaboration

In many organizations, annual performance objectives are a given. However, when these goals conflict with other functions, the outcome is organizational chaos—akin to playing "Corporate Twister," a challenging game where misalignment can cause everyone to fall flat.

Understanding "Corporate Twister"

In simple terms, "Corporate Twister" signifies the tangled and conflicting priorities within an organization. For those unfamiliar with the game Twister, imagine different departments reaching for divergent goals, leading to a complicated, uncoordinated effort that often results in failure.

The Key Players

The roles involved can vary depending on the organization's size, but typically include Business Users, Compliance, Finance, HR, IT, Legal, and Procurement. Additionally, don't forget external Customers, Suppliers, and Vendors, and—significantly—Executive Management, not to be confused with Executive Leadership. For instance, when Legal prioritizes compliance at the cost of operational agility, the entire organization can suffer.

Leadership vs. Management

True leadership goes beyond just managing tasks; it encompasses a deep understanding of how to bring various functions together in a spirit of collaboration. When HR, known as the custodians of organizational culture, actively partake in this collaboration and are held equally accountable for success, they elevate their role from not just managing processes but to fostering leadership across the organization.

The Conflicting Priorities

Conflicting priorities can occur when, for example, a business unit pressures a vendor to expand the scope without additional increase in price, while Procurement enforces a cost-reduction initiative. Each department is acting with good intentions but inevitably, these divergent goals create a chaotic, "Twister"-like environment.

The Way Forward: Aligning Goals

Success doesn't have to be a convoluted struggle. Here's a straightforward approach:

  1. Require cross-departmental collaboration for aligning individual objectives.

  2. Implement a performance management strategy that:

    • Drives personal and team accountability.

    • Connects people and processes.

    • Outlines clearly defined goals.

Measuring Success

The upward trend of both internal and external customer satisfaction metrics is a clear indicator of your success.

Common Sense: The Missing Ingredient

What do we mean by 'common sense' in this context? Simply put, it's about making logical decisions that benefit the entire organization, not just individual departments.

What Can YOU Do? Be a Leader

Challenge the status quo. Start pushing for functional alignment. Be the person who questions objectives and urges others to do the same. Build honest, direct relationships, and remember, communication is key—especially when technology seems to be pushing us farther apart.


Dodging the pitfalls of "Corporate Twister" requires a collaborative effort that aligns goals across departments. By implementing a robust performance management strategy and by challenging the existing paradigm, you're paving the way for organizational transformation.

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