taking it to the next level

KPMG’s ‘Next Level’ Is Here and You’re Probably Going to Be Very Disappointed and/or Confused

For those of you that have been anxiously awaiting the details on KPMG’s “Next Level” like the Royal nuptials, we have the details straight from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer (via a couple of tipsters). Before we get to the message from The Gipper and Hank, you should be warned that if your excitement was piqued by the “Next Level” movie-trailer video, you might – MIGHT! – not be that enthused with the actual “Next Level.”

With that said, let’s turn it over to the boys:

Welcome to the Next Level: Our High-Performance Culture
A Message from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer

It’s no secret that we operate in an increasingly cve environment, one in which our clients—both internal and external—are demanding more from us every day. More than ever, they need the skills and services we can bring, as long as we continue to raise the bar on our own performance and add more value and insight than ever before. To meet these demands and take full advantage of the opportunities ahead of us, we must be committed to fostering a High-Performance Culture, one in which we have the best people, with the skills and determination to deliver above and beyond.

If you managed to make it through that paragraph, you’re probably queasy already. The bad news is, it gets worse.

By now you’ve likely heard about our focus on high-performance culture. But chances are you still have some questions about exactly what it is, as well as what it means for you and for the firm as a whole. That’s why we’ve created The Next Level, a Web-based orientation for all partners and employees.

This mandatory 1 CPE credit self-study program will help you to:

• Articulate the key elements of our High-Performance Culture (HPC) initiative, including why it is critical to our firm’s success and your individual success
• Describe what the firm is doing to drive HPC, as well as what’s expected of you
• Identify and model the key attributes of high performers to elevate your own performance
• Effectively use our streamlined performance development process
• Give and receive feedback more effectively
• Most important, you’ll learn how high-performance culture will help you to share in our collective firm success, build skills for tomorrow, and have pride in being part of something extraordinary.
• The deadline for completion of The Next Level is July 7. (Note: All partners and employees are required to participate in this self-study program.)

Thanks in advance for your participation! And keep in mind that this is only the jumping-off point… you’ll be hearing a lot more about our HPC efforts in the weeks and months ahead.

Okay Klynveldians, I don’t know about you all but I’m still not sure if I understand what the “Next Level” is. What is clear is there is nothing in this email about loyalty bonuses, allegations of gender discrimination or the opportunity to wear jeans (given that you’ve got a five-dollar bill in your pocket).

BUT! There is something about a “high-performance culture,” which gets its own acronym so that might be the “Next Level.” Then there’s stuff about a web-based orienation, feedback, streamlined something or other and MANDATORY PARTICIPATION FOR EVERYONE (this means you, 30+ years partner who can barely turn on your laptop). Granted, I’ve been out of the HoK for quite some time so maybe I’m misinterpreting John and Hank’s prose but this “Next Level” seems like the same “level” only with a few more hoops to jump through and definitely more emails from J&H that may or may not explain how this will “foster a high performance culture.”

If you’re more hip to this, please enlighten everyone. But if you’re confused, annoyed or mortified with disappointment you can share those feelings too.

(UPDATE, VIDEO) What Is the ‘Next Level’ Coming to KPMG?

From the mailbag:

Relatively ominous link on our internal homepage saying “get ready” “the next level is coming” as of 6.6.11.


We’ve confirmed this “next level” with several people and also that there is a video that Klynveldians are watching. We’d really like to see some screen shots of this, just to get some context. In the meantime, we encourage you to speculate about this “next level” and why you have to “get ready.” I’ll kick things off:

A) Tim Flynn’s retirement party is going to be epic.

B) Omaha Steaks announces a special “KPMG Package” that will drive the other, non-meaty firms crazy.

C) KPMG seeks revenge on PwC with their own competitive poaching efforts by offering the head of the mailroom at 300 Madison a 10% raise and a Phil Mickelson autographed hat.

D) Your ideas.

UPDATE:
Supposedly, this is the transcript to the video (still no screen shots, it’s called “Print Screen” people!). Our tipster wrote, “Interesting video that gives very little hint to what the ‘Next Level’ is other than lots of talk of a ‘high-performance’ culture. Maybe it has something to do with changing performance review structure a la PwC. The video definitely gives an ominous feeling as if the KPMGers in it are running out of time and people aren’t adapting to the changing market fast enough for their liking. All in all pretty strange vibes.”

Welcome to the Next Level – Video Transcript

[VARIOUS VOICES DELIVERING SHORT PHRASES]:

The market’s changed…

In order to compete in today’s world we have to keep up with change…

It’s a mindset… It’s a way of behaving…

It’s about a continuous journey…

Our ambition is greater than where we are today…

The attitude is contagious…

We’re not satisfied…

It’s really about taking it to that next level.

Keep us updated.

UPDATE 2:
Another tipster hears that it has something to do with the-next-level.com but “[I] don’t really know what they plan to do with it.” Poking around the site, it appears that it would be related to “Developing the Next Wave of Senior Leaders” but I’ve checked out for the week and don’t have the will to dig further right now.

UPDATE 3:
Well, the video finally made it’s way into my inbox and I’ve posted it on the next page for your viewing pleasure (I realize Klynveldians have seen it already).

After watching it a number of times I still can’t make heads or tails about what the “next level” will be but hopefully it’s does just to this movie trailer-esque video.