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Five surefire methods to build a high-performing organisation


News - 13 April 2018

It’s a certainty that you know a high performing organization when you see one. There are clues all around.

New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Team have won 86% of their games in recent years. Manchester United Football Club in its heyday constantly vexed its opponents by winning games often with a goal scored in extra time.

In business, Disney built a reputation as leader in customer experience, which has remained unchallenged for more than 60 years. LEGO® is the second biggest toymaker in the world, with a respected and loved global brand that has remained popular for nearly 70 years. 

The list could go on. However, the key question is this; What are five surefire methods that guarantees their position in history as exemplars of best practice and enduring greatness?

1. A compelling vision/purpose
A compelling vision/purpose is like infusing work with purpose and meaning. It describes your unwavering goal for your business and why it exists in the first place. It is is your North Star; in good times it can focus the business, reinforcing the goal and ambition. In tough times, it offers an inspirational focal point to keep pushing on, in the knowledge that you’re pursuing a goal worth achieving, giving employees, partners, suppliers, and customers an emotional and intellectual connection with the business beyond its operational characteristics.

2. Values/Behaviours
If Vision/Purpose determines where you’re going, your Values/Behaviours determine precisely how you’re going to get there!’ A common set of Values and defined Behaviours create clarity on what excellence looks like, feels like, and acts like. This is important from a team perspective and critical to commercial success. Customers today will look beyond your ability to deliver the product or service you provide, because that’s a given. In choosing their partner of choice, they want to know the Values that underpin the organization. Can you be trusted? Are the words, credentials, and story you share up-front backed up by substance and depth in how the organization actually acts?

3. Strategic Plan
Failing to plan is like planning to fail. A sound, well thought out, structured strategic plan is about making sure you are in the driver’s seat of your business with a clear vision of where it is you want to get to, why you want to go there, and how you’re going to turn your vision into reality.

4. Disciplined Execution
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection then we can catch excellence!’. Disciplined execution is about having a plan and being flawless in its execution. It’s about frequently revisiting and refining your plan based on empirical validation; what is working (keep doing it) and what isn’t (change it). It’s about testing small before going BIG. It’s about having the measures that matter in play, interpreting the insight, and acting accordingly.

5. Performance Culture
A common mistake is thinking of culture as a 'nice to have', rather than a potent competitive advantage. Culture may earn companies a strong showing on annual 'best companies to work for' lists, but its greatest strength is the achievement of high levels of performance through shared Vision/Purpose, Values, and beliefs. That's why performance culture should sit firmly at the epicenter. Think of it as the central nervous system for your entire organization. All the roads lead back to culture.

In a business which is Built to Grow, Vision/Purpose, Values/ Behaviours, Strategic Plan, Disciplined Execution, and Performance Culture all work together, leading, leveraging, and supporting each other. The power is in the 'whole', demonstrating that all are equally important. One cannot overpower the other if you are truly commit- ted to building a high performing organization. 

The five elements working in unison will ensure accelerated, sustained and profitable business growth and high performance will become your reality!

Royston Guest is a global authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential. He is CEO of Pti-Worldwide, author of 1. best-selling business growth book, Built to Grow, now available on audible. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram. Connect with him on LinkedIn or check out his weekly blog at