How Do You Build A High Performance Environment? Three Steps

Interview with Paul Limbrey, CEO, Elkiem USA

Situation: Leaders who are successful in the long-term have figured out how to build high performance environments. This enables them to continually produce breakthroughs by stimulating the performance of others, and to rise above their competition. What are the factors involved in building a high performance environment?

Advice from Paul Limbrey:

  • Our work is based on 20 years of research into high performance in individuals and organizations. First one needs to understand the dynamics that stimulate high performance in people.
    • Our research indicates there are several elements that combine to form a system that stimulate improved performance in populations. These elements include concepts addressing Direction – Achievement, Failure and Strategy, providing Status of current performance, and Motivation – reason/purpose plus reward/consequence. The final unifying element is the culture or guiding philosophy in an environment.
    • On a company level, the first task is to understand these dynamics as you have created them today. This enables you to see where you need to tweak your environment to better stimulate high performance.
  • How consistent is high performance across difference fields of human endeavor?
    • We find that all elements that encourage high performance exist in all environments.  However the potency of each element varies with the particular environment.
    • For example in some environments the Goals are more potent (Sales groups or athletes). In others culture is potent (the Military or companies like Southwest Airlines). In others the reward systems are most potent (Investment Banking) or the potential for failure (airline pilots or first responders).
    • Any of the elements can stimulate performance improvement.
  • How does one go about matching the right system and solution for a particular company?
    • Start by focusing on the potency of each subsystem – Directional, Status and Motivation – in your particular environment. How critical is each in shaping decisions and action taken?
    • Take the example of a CEO who has no vision for the future of the company. The result is inconsistent decisions day to day or week to week. The organization can’t focus on effective execution. The solution is to focus on Direction.
    • What about the CEO who is concerned with complacency. This is best addressed by looking to define what represents sub-standard more clearly for the organization.
    • If you have an “excuse rich” environment or desire greater accountability, look to your status or “exposure” systems to provide more accurate performance status first before looking toward your consequence systems.

You can contact Elkiem at usa@elkiem.com

Key Words: Leadership, Strategy, Performance, Environment, Success, Goals, Compensation, Measurement, Values, Behavior

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign in with Twitter