Most Organisations Don't Understand what Drives Business Performance Improvement
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
The heading for this post is simply astounding. Is it me being provocative? No, it's a quote from the latest Deloitte Global Trends Report 2017. Specifically the report says that, "90% of organisations admit they do not have usable analytics nor a good understanding of the factors that drive performance.”
The Deloitte report expands upon this point saying, "Data about people at work has become more important than ever … people analytics is now a business discipline, supporting everything from operations and management to talent acquisition and financial performance. Readiness to capitalise on people analytics remains a challenge … only 8 percent of organisations report they have usable data, while only 9 percent believe they have a good understanding of the talent factors that drive performance.”
Think about it. Business results are the product of your employee’s activity (and this is fundamental in service and knowledge based organisations). So, this is an admission that organisations, or more specifically middle managers and front-line managers, don't have a good understanding of what leadership behaviours drive performance; and they don't clearly understand what front-line behaviours drive performance. What a simply massive latent opportunity for most organisations! It must in part explain why in Australia some 45% of organisations are reported to be missing profit targets (Source: Study of Australian Leadership SAL).
For Onirik, this is consistent with our experience in the corporate space. One of our services is the Performance Break-Thru that includes the “modelling of experts and expertise." Put more simply, it is the "duplication of the talent of top performers in organisations” then getting everyone doing what the top performers do. These "hyper performers" are the people who are anywhere between three and ten standard deviations more productive than their peers. And what's interesting is organisations mostly don't know why or how their “stars" perform this way.
I've even recall one organisation, who will remain nameless, that classified these people as "problems" because, "They ask questions about the organisation mission, values and strategy, saying they want to align their actions with the big picture." I'm not sure what is harder to comprehend, that the leadership wanted to get rid of them for the ‘persistent and annoying’ questions, or that the organisation did not realise these individuals understood the importance of having their activity aligned with the wider the organisation and how such alignment supported their motivation and results. As it happened these trouble makers were top performers too.
Because organisations often have a poor understanding of the factors that drive performance - when they want to duplicate their high performers they engage us to uncover the “how" the "high-performers" do what they do, then package it up in a form that makes it transferrable to others in similar roles.
With the wide performance spreads I referenced above, not surprisingly, the results are often transformative, and as a consequence we conduct such engagements with careful change management. You don't drive more than 100% increase in sales in under six months without ensuring there is the downstream capacity in the organisation to deliver.