Who doesn’t want to be a high performer? Why would anyone turn down opportunities to become more competitive in the marketplace?
Sometimes, people have a conceptual vision of high performance, but have never personally been part of such a team effort. Like the youngster who has seen plenty of others go off the high diving board at the swimming pool, a leader who actually stands on the high dive for the first time may be hesitant to take the plunge.
There are a number of ways to give leaders some experiences that will help their commitment to “take the plunge.” A few ideas:
- Experiential workshops that give participants the “feel” of the struggles and successes on the road to high performance.
- Visits to organizations and cultures that have made some significant breakthroughs in high performance. Talking with experienced people who have been in their shoes can help your leaders appreciate practical steps others have taken to succeed.
- Organizing a pilot project with a(team, department, function, etc. to learn first-hand about the dynamics of high performance. Such pilot projects should NOT be organized to see if they pass or fail, but rather to gain practical experience about the “do’s and don’ts” in developing high performance be before expanding companywide.
- Participating in designing a high-performance unit by considering
- what that unit’s stakeholders expect to be delivered
- What the strategy should be to meet those expectations
- What organizational capabilities must be in evidence to fulfill the strategy
- How organizational elements (processes, structure, rewards, people skills) should be organized and aligned with strategy
- An implementation plan that will ensure success
Involvement in some of the above activities will build understanding, specific executions, and leadership commitment to begin the high-performance journey.