Is your organization “high performing”? This was the question that opened the session, Utilizing Technology To Build A High Performance Organization In A Value-Based Environment, presented by Ravi Ganesan, Chief Executive Officer of Core Solutions last month at The 2019 OPEN MINDS Performance Management Institute.
First, what is a “high-performing organization”? According to André de Waal, Academic Director at the High Performance Organization (HPO) Center, a high-performance organization is “an organization that achieves financial and non-financial results that are exceedingly better than those of its peer group over a period of five years or more, by focusing on that which really matters to the organization”. Second, why does it matter? Understanding organizational performance and being able to optimize organizational performance is critical in a fast-changing disruptive market.
The big questions for health and human service executive teams are:
- Do we have the data to tell if the financial and non-financial results of our organization are better than our peer group?
- If we are not a high performing organization, can our executive team lead the transformation from where we are today to become high performing?
We’ll get to the data issue later. But, the second question about organizational transformation raises an important issue for executive teams and boards of directors—are transformational leaders born or made? Can leaders learn to have positive energy, energize others, make tough decisions, and execute on plans? The answer, according to Mr. Ganesan, is that executives can learn to model the traits of those successful leaders.
And what are those traits? According to the research of Mr. de Waal and his organization’s High Performance Organization (HPO) Framework, there are five key domains of high-performing organizations:
Quality of Management—At its heart, high-quality managers are those that operates with integrity and serves as role models for staff and fellow managers alike. Ask yourself, are you managers honest, sincere, committed, enthusiastic and respectful, all while working with an elevated sense of ethics and standards?
Continuous Improvement & Renewal—This approach considers two elements of strategic planning and operations management that I’ve long considered indispensable: scenario-based planning and metrics-based management. Can your organization adopt a unique strategy, and then rely on the metrics to either succeed at that strategy, or recognize when another strategy is the key to surviving and thriving in the market?
Long-Term Orientation—This approach builds on a simple strategic premise to organizational strategy: long-term success is much more valuable than short-term profits. The most powerful way to do this is to focus on building increasing value for consumers over time. Ask yourself these questions: do you know what consumers need/want and have you built the relationships necessary to both provide them with that need/want while continuously building value into that relationship?
Quality of Employees—Guaranteeing a great workforce starts with recruiting staff that are as flexible as your organization’s evolving strategy. Ask yourself, do your managers inspire (or demand) great performance? If you could do it over again, would you rehire every manager in your organization? Or 90%? Or half?
Openness & Action Orientation—The bane of many organizations is a siloed approach to ideas and decisionmaking. Unfortunately, most staff (including management) simply “don’t know what they don’t know.” To counter this, executive teams need an open approach to dialogue and knowledge exchange. Ask yourself, do different departments and staff at different levels of the organization often talk with one another and/or collaborate on ideas?
Want to learn more about whether your organization is high performing? You can answer all the assessment questions in each domain and see for yourself. Together, these factors are the keys to shaping your organization for the new competition in a market based on performance:
- Quality of Management
- Continuous Improvement & Renewal
- Long-Term Orientation
- Quality of Employees
- Openness & Action Orientation
Regardless of how your organization scores, the point of the exercise is not the score but the potential for improvement. Tomorrow, my colleague Sarah Threnhauser will tackle the second half of this equation—do you have the technology and data to move the needle on that performance?
For more, be sure to join us at The 2019 OPEN MINDS Strategy & Innovation Institute, where Monica E. Oss will discuss performance and strategy development for the new market in her keynote address, “What Does It Take To Outlast The Disruptors? Building A New Strategy For A New Market.”