Gallup has published some fascinating research into what drives high performance workplaces - finding that employee development, based on matching roles to unique strengths, drives a culture that in turn drives performance. How? 1. They protect their investment in employee development with a focus on increasing employee engagement. 2. They avoid the most common misunderstanding about development: It is actually about finding roles, positions and projects that allow them to combine their talents and abilities with experiences to build strengths 3. Their managers are highly involved in the development of individuals -- they act as coaches, not bosses. 4. Their leadership owns the culture change (not HR alone). Read more here.
A common misconception regarding pursuing 'growth' in an organisational context is that it must be about topline revenue growth. In my experience, the same mindset and toolkit can be applied to growth in capability, and/or growth in performance (however each organisation chooses to define it). This McKinsey article explores a growth mindset, which I think is captured well in this Disney quote (via CB Insights): “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things. Because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt E. Disney
Reid Hoffman (co-founder LinkedIn!) has just published a new book called Blitzscaling; weird title but great content for a growth nerd like me. Some great insights in the article on growth from organisations and individuals that have been there and done it The book summarises a series of lectures given at Stanford in 2015, which are summarised in the attached article (the slides and videos are available here if you're super keen).
Endorsed by luminaries including Desmond Tutu, Paul Fireman (founder of Reebok), Chip Wilson (founder of lululemon) and Warren Bennis, the Three Laws of Performance is a unique contribution to the field of high performance management. Taking a novel and to some unusual approach to performance and leadership, the book provides a set of tools focused on confronting the root causes of performance issues, 'inventing' a compelling new future, and creating high performing teams to execute that future. More information at the website.
The Great Game of Business provides a set of principles and tools for generating high levels of financial and organisational performance, by taking an open-book approach to setting, achieving and rewarding strategic and operational goals. The approach uses a "game" as the focal point for educating staff at all levels how a business works, and how performance can be achieved. The tools were developed by Jack Stack at SRC Holdings Corporation - which was once a failing division of International Harvester, but is now a 100% employee-owned company with over 1,200 staff, sales of over US$450 million, 31 business units and two in-house venture capital incubator funds. Learn more from the Great Game website.
Greg Brenneman has an enviable reputation as a master of corporate turnarounds, earned from both consulting but also leadership of companies including Continental Airlines and Burger King in the United States. In summarising the insights and lessons from his turnaround experience, Brenneman provides a powerful formula for quickly (and "all at once") addressing the underlying causes of sub-par performance - and developing a clear roadmap for action. Learn more from the Harvard Business Review article.