The Dynamics of High Performing Organizations

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The Dynamics of High Performing Organizations

©2003, 2005 and 2009 by Resource Development Systems LLC All Rights Reserved Reprint Rights and Article Publication If you would like to use this article or parts of this article in any form, then please contact us and we will be happy to work with you to accomplish your goal. We are also available for interviews regarding the Seven Elements of High Performance™ model. We are happy to discuss the inclusion of the Seven Elements of High Performance™ as part of a training program. Please contact us using the information at the end of this article explaining how you would like to use the model in your training program and we will be happy to discuss with you about the authorization for use of the model. Note: the US Navy’s Center for Naval Leadership is already utilizing our model in their leadership development programs with our permission.

This article is an updated version from our original article and our original model, which was first published in 2003. After additional research review, the final model, which is contained in this version of the article, was developed and published in 2005. This article was updated to reflect the new model in 2009.

For a more in-depth look at this model and how these Seven Elements help drive performance in organizations we invite you to read our new book Leadership Lessons From the Medicine Wheel: The Seven Elements of High Performance (ISBN 978-1-59932-111-0).

The Dynamics of High Performing Organizations
By Gary Lear, President and CEO Resource Development Systems LLC Over the past several years we’ve reviewed a considerable amount of research about what it takes for organizations to achieve high performance. There are an insurmountable number of studies out there, so we’ve confined most of our research to the larger scale studies conducted by some of the most reputable researchers. Our list includes the business schools at Harvard, Stanford, and Cornell, the Gallup Organization, as well as the groundbreaking work of Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book Built to Last and Collins’ follow-up book Good to Great. All of the studies we have chosen have some very distinct and unique approaches, yet they all seem to either reveal the same results or provide support for each other in some way. We have been able to identify Seven Elements that must be present for an organization to become a high performing organization. These Seven Elements are the building blocks that end up driving the success of the High Performing Organizations that have been studied. But it is more than just having these elements present in the organization; it is the dynamics that are involved in these Seven Elements that create high performance. These dynamics are represented in the following model. It’s not processes, but people that drive performance. What we’ve been able to determine from the research is that it is not process issues that drive organizational success. Yes, all organizations have to control their processes, which allow them to control quality and costs. However, as Gallup revealed in one of their articles, most organizations have done a pretty good job of achieving low cost as a result of the drive by many of the market forces. Most organizations have done well with the various forms of process controls (Business Process Reengineering, TQM, Six Sigma, etc.), but what most have done poorly is the human side of the equation. What differentiates the high performing organizations is not how well they have dealt with their process issues, but how well they have dealt with their people issues. In fact, those organizations that have the highest levels of performance are those that have leveraged their people to achieve the greater efficiency in processes as well as superior levels of customer service. What they have done is become masters at managing the human side of their business. ©2003, 2005, 2009 Resource Development Systems LLC Page 1...
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