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Five surefire methods to build a high-performing organisation

New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team won 86 per cent of their games in recent years. Manchester United football club in its heyday vexed its opponents by often winning games in extra time. What it all boils down to is that you'll instantly know a high-performing organisation when you see one.
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In business, Disney built a reputation as leader in customer experience, which has remained unchallenged for over 60 years. LEGO is the second biggest toymaker in the world, remaining popular for nearly 70 years. The list could go on, but the key question is this; What are the surefire methods that guarantees these high-performing companies that position?

1) A compelling vision or purpose

A compelling vision is like infusing work with purpose and meaning. It describes your unwavering goal and why your business exists in the first place. It is your North Star; in good times, it can focus the business, reinforcing the goal and ambition. In tough times, it offers an inspirational focal point to keep pushing on, in the knowledge that your goal worth achieving.

This gives employees, partners, suppliers, and customers an emotional and intellectual connection with the business beyond its operational characteristics.

2) Values and behaviours

If vision or purpose determines where you’re going, your values and behaviours determine precisely how you’re going to get there! A common set of values and defined behaviours create clarity on what excellence looks like, feels like, and acts like, and sets a high-performing apart from the rest.

This is important from a team perspective and critical to commercial success. Customers today will look beyond your ability to deliver the product or service you provide, because that’s a given. In choosing their partner of choice, they want to know the values that underpin the organisation. Can you be trusted? Are the words, credentials, and story you share up-front backed up by substance and depth in how the organisation actually acts?

3) Strategic plan

Failing to plan is like planning to fail. A sound, well thought out, structured strategic plan is about making sure you are in the driver’s seat of your business with a clear vision of where it is you want to get to, why you want to go there, and how you’re going to turn your vision into reality.

4) Disciplined execution

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection then we can catch excellence!”. Disciplined execution is about having a plan and being flawless in its execution. It’s about frequently revisiting and refining your plan based on empirical validation; what is working (keep doing it) and what isn’t (change it). It’s about testing small before going big. It’s about having the measures that matter in play, interpreting the insight, and acting accordingly.

5) Performance culture

A common mistake is thinking of culture as a “nice to have”, rather than a potent competitive advantage. Culture may earn companies a strong showing on annual “best companies to work for” lists, but its greatest strength is the achievement of high levels of performance through shared vision or purpose, values and beliefs. That’s why performance culture should sit firmly at the epicenter of any business looking to be deemed high-performing.

Think of it as the central nervous system for your entire organisation. All the roads lead back to culture.

In a business which is built to grow; vision, purpose, values, behaviours, strategic plan, disciplined execution and performance culture all work together, leading, leveraging, and supporting each other. The power is in the “whole’”, demonstrating that all are equally important. One cannot overpower the other if you are truly committed to building a high performing organisation.

The five elements working in unison will ensure accelerated, sustained and profitable business growth and high performance will become your reality!

Royston Guest is a global authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential. He is CEO of Pti-Worldwide, author of #1 best-selling business growth book, Built to Grow and founder of livingyourfuture™. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram. Connect with him on LinkedIn or check out his weekly blog.

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Real Business

As the champion of UK enterprise for 20 years, Real Business is the most-read SME website dedicated to high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs. Through daily news, unique insight and invaluable guides we are an essential resource for thriving businesses.

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