PDS On Performance

performance improvement ideas and some common business sense

Why We Believe Performance is Personal before it is Organizational

Written By: Terry Merriman - Feb• 10•12

As a former Air Force officer, I had a close up view of top notch performance, particularly when it involved our nation’s Strategic Air Command (long range bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles). Every time I saw, and felt, a B52 thunder down the runway it was an awe-inspiring experience. The public view of that precision performance is demonstrated regularly by aerial exhibition teams.

Have you ever seen the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds, the US Navy’s Blue Angels; or the Canadian Forces’ Snowbirds perform an air show for a crowd? Their alignments are close, their tolerances tight, their maneuvers breathtaking, and their results; well their results are perfection! Those pilots forge incredibly complex working relationships with each other. They know exactly what is expected by the others, what they expect of the others, what excellence looks like, and that they are in complete agreement with each other. They are at the top of their game, their piloting competencies incomparable and their proficiency superb. They know the objectives, they commit to them and they train to perfection to achieve them.

Their ground crews know every inch of every plane, and keep each plane in perfect flying condition. They achieve success together, not solo. Even individual stunt pilots and aerobatic flyers don’t work solo; they have ground crews in whose hands they place their lives every time they fly. Any subpar individual performance places the team’s success at risk. And these teams manage the risk of failure to the nth degree, because failure is unacceptable and its consequences devastating to themselves and the customers, those crowds of all ages watching the show.

The only difference between these organizations and yours is that the consequence of failure in your organization may not be as devastating. Still, the loss of your business is a high price to pay. And it is exactly the price you could pay if every member of your team isn’t free to perform up to his or her full potential. That is why at PDS we focus on personal performance and in particular communication, competence and commitment. Does every person on your team know what is required and expected, does each have the proficiency necessary to deliver, and is each committed to the mission? If your people don’t perform, then how will your organization deliver the results you expect?

Every strategy and tactic for improving anything from culture to revenue to customer service to business results requires implementation by people; people who understand the mission, have the competence to do what is required, have developed productive working relationships and are committed to the task at hand. Are your people prepared to execute the changes you need to make to stay competitive, deliver what you promise, and boost your bottom line?

By now I hope it’s apparent why we believe performance is personal before it is organizational. Remember, change is hard, real change is real hard, and your people are the ones who make that change happen. Ensure the next change you make delivers the results you want by communicating expectations throughout your organization, gaining the commitment of your people, and equipping them to be successful.

For resources on communication, alignment, and competencies please visit our Library. If you need to talk about particular challenges your organization is facing, contact us. Your initial one hour telephone consultation is free. And let us know your thoughts on performance by commenting on this post; we welcome your observations!

Let’s roll!


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