The Three Key Determinants of Business Performance
Having two out of three is not good enough…
There are three key determinants for business performance – direction, aptitude and attitude.
Performance occurs in context of the goals, outcomes and measures that have been established.
How well are the desired goals and outcomes of the business communicated, and commonly shared and understood? This needs to be meaningful, relevant and measurable at all levels from the corporate overview to the contribution of departments, teams and at the individual level.
To achieve your goals and outcomes you need to have the necessary skills and abilities which you can use when planning, executing and reviewing.
What are the key skills and capabilities the business needs to have? What is needed now? And what else is needed to meet the future goals and outcomes of the business? Again, these need to be identifiable at all levels of the business – from the corporate to the individual level.
What are the core attitudes and associated behaviours that we need for driving high performance?
Conversely, what are those attitudes and behaviours that we want to avoid which lead to low performance? These core attitudes pervade the whole business at all levels and, in themselves, do not change.
Generally, businesses are good at identifying the skills and capabilities needed both now and for the future; mediocre in establishing and establishing a clear vision, goals and outcomes; and very poor at identifying, understanding and making tangible the core attitudes and behaviours needed for performance.
To be a high performer we need to be able to accurately assess how strong we are for each element. As can be seen in the diagram below, being strong in two out of three is not good enough or able to drive high performance on a sustainable basis.
So what do we need to do to achieve high performance?
1. Be clear on your direction – make sure everyone understands and can articulate it.
2. Ensure you have the right skills, capabilities and resources to enable each individual, team and group to achieve high performance in their aligned goals.
3. Recruit for and manage people with the right attitudes – understand what your core attitudes and associated behaviours are necessary to drive high-performance in your business, and avoid and manage those which result in low-performance. Remember, you hire for attitude and train for aptitude.
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