We’ve used high performance approaches with many companies, nationally and internationally. We helped them introduce lean practices, improve customer service, reduce operating costs, cut manufacturing lead times, reduce absenteeism, create new business units, transform performance cultures, assess HR and culture impacts of mergers … and many other benefits.
And we did it by putting high performance principles in practice. What are they? Let’s have a look.
High performance principles
What high performance looks like in practice depends so much on individual circumstances. It varies from business to business – depending on what’s important to the business. Is it possible to say what things are consistently linked to effective, customer-focused performance? We think so.
We’ve scanned management literature and research going back decades, and drawn on our own research and business experience to identify nine high performance principles. And here they are:
Understand who you serve. What do they need – is this changing? How do you organise for customer-focus?
This is about organising work to increase the chances of bumping into people – for information, knowledge and inspiration.
The idea of an organisation as a stand-alone entity is now inconceivable. Businesses are increasingly operating in ‘hive-minds’ of strategic alliances and partnerships to share risks, to access capital or to gain access to knowledge and skills.
And they are operating within fast-responding supply networks to deliver customer value.
We need to be being mindful of the possible personal, group and institutional motivations that influence behaviour.
This is about spotting and encouraging hidden talent.
This is about creative leadership.
This is about leading through influencing rather than through command and control.
This about needing to understand complexity.
People and their relationships are complex – always moving, hard to understand and unpredictable. But even though relationships are highly dynamic and being constantly shaped through what we do together, individual and collective minds can be very hard to change.
And there’s the response. To develop skills that are up to the job of coping with complexity – connected, diverse and creative.
This is about unlearning, adapting and re-learning.
This recognises that we are all “serial incompetents” trying to unlearn, adapt and re-learn as the world changes. Use Your Ignorance is about how to scope an experimental project, doing something – anything – to practice new ways of thinking and acting
The focus of the approach is on connecting with others for emotional support, discovering experts and resources that can help, – and then talking, experimenting, sharing, reflecting and learning together.
Why not sign up here to get a copy of Anne Marie’s ebook – Calling All Instigators! and read more about how to act on the nine principles.