What’s Powering Your Performance?

16 May 2014
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I spent the last 2 days in a workshop learning about performance and accountability from Shane Yount of Process-Based Leadership.  His model is a terrific match for the strategy work I do – once you know where you want to go, then you need to activate the organization in a consistent, engaging, disciplined-but-flexible process.

I often talk with my clients about “strategic management,” which is the on-going ability of the organization to identify the right things to work on, and then to actually work on them – as opposed to getting consumed by day-to-day work that puts things off-track.

What powers Shane’s performance system is a “culture of accountability.”  What does that look like?

  • There are clear priorities for each team – and the company as a whole – to focus on
  • There is a sense of urgency in each team – Shane is a strong proponent of a weekly cycle
  • There are “non-negotiable rules” that people hold themselves, others, and the organization to – things like showing up for meetings on time, coming to meetings prepared, and taking responsibility for “re-negotiating” commitments if they are not met
  • The dialogue is about what people do, not how they feel
  • How do you know if you need it?
  • The performance of your company or team is driven by the force of the leader’s personality (and if that wasn’t there, who knows what would happen…)
  • The company or team focuses on whatever is in front of it at the moment
  • There is selective engagement – people are able to set their own level of effort and contribution

Many companies don’t need or want a complete structured performance system like what Shane offers.  But whether you’re talking about my “strategic management,” or Shane’s “process-based leadership,” every company needs its own “management toolbox” to drive performance.

Is your company’s performance saying you have the right tools?