Creating and maintaining a high performance culture

A High Performance Culture is something many organizations strive to achieve. Many have achieved it in their own unique and distinctive ways. However, certain fundamental common factors need to exist without which a “High Performance Culture” will not be created.

In difficult economic time this can be difficult to justify – however now is the time to prepare the organization for the future. Organizational development strategies take time to formulate, develop and deploy – and that is before the returns start to generate. Wait for the “good times” and your competitors will beat you. Start now and the culture will be in place ready for the next shift in the economy. Whatever the case – being a high performance organization is just as important in difficult times as it is good time – many would argue it is more important.

The five principles or ‘flows’ are:

PLOWS

Purpose- A shared purpose is the necessary focus for the performance of any task or activity in a high performing culture.

Learning – individual, collective and organisational. Such organisations understand change and its impact and quickly work out what needs to be done and what capabilities they need to survive and succeed.

Opportunity – recognising, seeking, creating and taking opportunities to change and improve capability, effectiveness, efficiency and performance.

Worth- understanding the value and worth of the work being done, the people who are doing it and the outcomes being delivered – and communicating it widely to all interested parties.

Support- from management and colleagues in the shape of resources, information, encouragement etc. so everyone feels able to the best job they possibly can.

 

Some practitioners add:

Engagement, Energy or Empowerment and Relationships

Engagement- the enthusiasm, drive and oomph that individuals deliver which is above and beyond – discretionary effort

Relationships- there is nothing more powerful than a team who respect, trust, recognise each others strengths, complement those, challenge and stretch each other.

Changing Purpose to Focus provides us with a more memorable mnemonic(s):

This creates the FLOWERS model to high performance cultures or as I prefer to call it the High performance Culture REFLOWS© model:

  • Relationships
  • Engagement
  • Focus
  • Learning
  • Opportunity
  • Worth
  • Support

Note – check out Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi work on FLOW

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About Mike Morrison

Mike Morrison is a consultant and change agent specialising in developing skills in senior people to increase organizational performance.
Mike is also founder & director of RapidBI, an organizational effectiveness consultancy.

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