Think of any successful, growing organisation and you will find that ‘high-performance working’ is central to its success.

Their achievements will not have happened by accident.

Throughout every layer of the organisation you will experience a different attitude and approach to work than that found in organisations which struggle to grow and/or survive.

High-performance working relates directly to the achievement of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

There are many examples of the most talented individuals and organisations achieving results beyond their expectations because of their focus on high-performance.

High-performance working helps to deliver competitive advantage in all business sectors.

It also contributes to a work experience unlike others, which many individuals find exciting, inspirational and personally rewarding.

However, it isn’t for everyone.

High-performance working creates demands on people’s time, energy levels and commitment.

Why? Because when you commit to high-performance working you commit to a culture and attitude focused on goals, behaviour and constant improvement.

Leadership is important to creating a high-performance culture

High-performing organisations outperform others in their marketplace as a result of the activities and behaviours demonstrated by high-performing leaders.

High-performing leaders lead and demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours expected of others in the workplace. These include discipline, accountability, energy, spirit and other performance-related behaviours

Creating a high-performance culture requires the following activities and focus from leaders throughout the organisation.

1. An understanding of what is meant by ‘high-performance’ and the link with the day-to-day operational requirements of the business on the journey

2. The production of a clear and compelling vision of what the future of the organisation will look like

3. The creation of a ‘sense of urgency’ amongst others

4. Communication focused on the benefits and positive outcomes of any culture change required throughout the business

5. The identification of ‘barriers’ likely to hinder potential progress on the organisation’s journey

6. The enlisting of Cultural Architects (your informal leaders without authority) to help support, influence and inspire others on the frontline

7. The setting of agreed milestones along the way

8. Regular ‘public celebration’ of the progress made on the journey

9. Involvement of suppliers, partners, stakeholders and everyone else connected with the organisation in the quest towards delivering high-performance

10. The production of a route map and the use of a framework to help the leadership team keep everyone connected with the organisation focused and on track. 

Many clients over the years have asked me if it is possible to develop a high-performance culture within their own organisation.

My response is always the same.

‘It depends on the quality of your leadership team and the performance framework you use to help your leaders lead’

Frameworks are used by leaders in every high-performing business in the world to deliver the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to achieve a desired level of personal performance.

There are many frameworks to choose from.

The most effective frameworks offer a series of simple steps, concepts, approaches and insights which enables users to apply them effectively within their job roles.

The most successful frameworks are able to link together the ambition of the leadership team, the talent within the organisation and the context of the journey in a way in which high-performance working becomes a cultural norm on a daily basis.

Everyone connected with the organisation should understand, commit to and benefit from delivering high-performance on the journey.

We call this ‘The Winning Formula®’.   

Finally, creating and maintaining a high-performance culture is not about doing your best.

To quote Winston Churchill ‘it’s about doing what is necessary.’

Best wishes on your journey, wherever it may take you.