3 Keys for 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.

3 Elements of High Performance








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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Lessons from Disneyland

Build your map and build value

Have you ever been to Disneyland?  Millions of people, children and adults alike, have visited it and enjoyed its magic and experienced the wonder it has engendered. But did you know it nearly didn’t happen?

When Walt Disney first tried to get financial backing for his project – the future Disneyland – his own studio refused to fund it. So what did Walt Disney do?

He sent his brother, Ray, to meet with potential investors in New York. Imagine going to meet with potential investors to sell the concept of Disneyland – a concept that was new, unknown and untested. However, Walt Disney did not send his brother unarmed or empty-handed – he equipped him with a map of what Disneyland would look like.

Figure 1 – The Original Map for Disneyland

The map of Disneyland allowed Walt and Ray Disney to share the vision with their potential investors, it made the idea tangible for them, and provided them with a path that they could follow to see where this concept would lead it to.

Maps provide a point of reference for you and others, a guide to how you will achieve your vision, and a way by which people can align their interests and effort by creating buy-in and engagement. They reduce risk and provide a yardstick that you can measure your progress against.

What is the map that you have drawn, or have to draw, that you need to share with your stakeholders – your staff, your customers, your suppliers, your investors and shareholders, and your community. And when you have your map – how will you share it and communicate so it aligns their needs, interests and actions with those that you need?

The first map illustrating the Disneyland concept recently sold for over USD $1 million at auction. What will your map be worth to you in the future?


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Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions