“Better” or “worse” are things that can be used in judging sports, paint colors and some foods. It is not how most people judge their businesses.
Yet, it amazes me how many business leaders accept sales teams, managers and key personnel reviews that are simply a 1-5 rating on a few metrics. How many leaders are content in knowing that the performance of key revenue generators are “better” or “worse” than last year, usually with a side note or caveat, especially when it’s in the latter category.
In the past few decades we have seen a rise in social promotion in business environments as well. As the economy has thrived, benchmarks have been met simply because the economy lifted the business or sales unit.
In working with one of our clients, a manager was working to understand how to handle an employee who responded poorly to their annual review. This employee argued that his performance was in line with his peers and he had performed better than the previous year. The manager pointed to the market growth and explained that client acquisition and cultivation had actually dropped. That’s when the problem became obvious: the culture within the organization was based on status quo performance and complacency.
So where do we go from here?
Cloud10 Strategies developed a process to help organizations develop a high performance culture. The main steps in the process are:
- Assess the organizational culture
- Develop a Power Map
- Design the New High Performance Culture
- Structure Accountability Measurements and Process
- Communicate the New System
- Lead through the Change
Organizations without strong feedback systems will need to incorporate means of accepting and acting on feedback as part of this process. At its core, implementing a high-performance culture essentially follows the same steps as implementing any other change in an organization; it is just a more significant change than most others and is prone to significant opposition.