Beyond Performance – How great organisations build ultimate competitive advantage By Scott Keller and Colin Price

Beyond Performance – How great organisations build ultimate competitive advantage

A summary by paul arnold (Communications Strategist/Trainer/Facilitator –

Beyond Performance


The book has been written by two McKinsey Partners, based on extensive research amongst 5,000 executives from 200 widely dispersed organisations (backed up by 2 years of in-market evidence versus control samples).

They have identified that the ‘Health’ of an organisation is as important as Performance (indeed performance is sustained through a focus on health (Research shows that managing health accounts for 50% of the ability to continue to perform in the future)

They identify a 5 stage process to help drive change/high performance.  The 5 A’s of transformation are: Aspire, Assess, Architect, Act and Advance.

Background – Developing the model

The principles espoused in this book were based on extensive research which included:

-Responses from 600,000 employees from 500 different organisations

-An internal McKinsey survey of over 6,800 senior executives of their experience with change programmes.

-Data from over 100 clients

-Reviews of over 900 books and academic articles

-In depth personal interviews with 30 CEO’s

-Working alongside 4 academic scholars who helped to challenge and extend the thinking.

Their strategy was tested in market against control samples, where they found their strategy was more successful than traditional change methods.

There were many different beliefs expressed about what makes a successful company but three key themes emerged:

  1. Internal alignment to one direction
  2. A focus on high quality of execution and
  3. A capacity for renewal.


The key to success/failure is people

Only 30% of all change programs succeed. The key reason they fail is often the soft stuff – people (39% is down to people resistance, 33% due to management behaviour not supporting the change, whilst only 28% is due to inadequate resources or other obstacles).

With the speed of technological advancement, it is rarely possible to create sustainable competitive advantage from just a new product or service. However, it is less easy to ‘clone a community’ – and ultimately it’s the people behind the product or service that creates sustainable competitive advantage.  Darwin’s survival of the fittest applies equally to organisations. One of the key sources of competitive advantage is an organisation’s ability to adapt to its rapidly evolving environment.

When executives are asked the key factors for motivation to stay/join an organisation the highest ranked factors were ‘Freedom & autonomy’ and ‘Exciting challenges’. Employees do not want to feel to just be a ‘cog’ but to be empowered to make a meaningful contribution (“People are looking for a sense of belonging, a sense of meaning…” – Adam Crozier).

In an IPSOS Mori Poll of 100 board level directors from 500 largest organisation in the UK said ‘Attracting, motivating and retaining the best employees’ was their number one priority for business – ahead of efficiency and having the right strategy.

Larry Bossida, CEO of Honeywell said “The soft stuff – people’s beliefs and behaviours – is at least as important as the hard stuff”. Don Argus, of BHP Billiton suggests the key to success is to “mobilise and develop our people to unleash their competencies, creativity and commitment to get things moving forward”.

Pixar is focused on creating teams of people who want to work together (“What you need to create is the most trusting environment possible where people can screw up”), but with a clear focus on quality as a driving purpose (“We have realised that having lower standards for something is bad for the soul” – Ed Catmull, President).

Following GM’s government bail out in 2008, its Head of North American operations, Mark Ruess stated “We need to re-create the soul of the company”. Elmer Johnson, a GM executive said “We have vastly underestimated how deeply ingrained are the organisational and cultural rigidities that hamper our ability to execute.”

David Whyte once wrote, “Work, paradoxically does not ask enough of us, yet exhausts the narrow part of us we bring to the door”

Sadly job satisfaction is in the decline: In US only 45% of employees said they were satisfied in their job in 2009 vs 62% in 1987 (with a commensurate slide in productivity over the same period).

The Big Idea: Performance AND Health

Health delivers performance (not vice versa)

Focusing just on delivering the numbers is short term and does not build t a sustainable future. Leaders should put their efforts into creating the organisational DNA for long-term success and invest in the people who deliver the numbers.

Many factors are outside of an organisation’s control. However, the healthier/fitter an organisation is, the more likely it will be able to adapt faster and more completely than the competition.

Not all high performing companies are ‘healthy’ but high health companies do perform well. Research has shown that companies in the top quartile of positive health are 2.2x more likely to report above-median earnings. Further analysis shows that 54% of the variation in performance is down to organisational health. Thus looking after the health of an organisation is critical to its performance in both the short and long term.

When an organisation is in sub health, teamwork and morale begins to decline (leading to high turnover), communication breaks down, a culture of risk avoidance/blame sets in, which leads to a decline in quality, resulting in a reduction in sales and profit.

Focusing just on short term performance kills the health of the organisation

The problems with ENRON stem from a pervasive culture of single minded focus on performance delivery (which meant immoral actions were taken). Lehman Brother’s collapse after 158 year history was also driven by making risky investment decisions due to its over focus just on performance (ignoring an honest assessment of its organisation’s exposure to risk). The BP Texas Oil refinery explosion in 2005 and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster were also triggered by short term target-driven priorities of time and money.

A McKinsey survey of 2000+ executives carried out in 2010 revealed that change programmes that ignore health and solely focus on performance are 1.5x more likely to fail in the long run.

The five frames of performance AND health

The 5 A’s for achieving organisational excellence: Aspire, Assess, Architect, Act and Advance.


i.e Where we want to get to? – How to develop a change vision and strategic objectives.

Key Q: What does ‘healthy’ look like?


i.e.How ready are we to get there? – Identifying an organisations skills & capabilities required to reach its visions and objectives?

Key Q:What are the blocking beliefs, values & mindsets that are holding the organisation back?


i.e. What do we need to do to get there? – Developing a concrete set of initiatives/projects to deliver the vision and objectives.

Key Q: How to shift the culture?


i.e. How do we manage the journey? –  Executing, and measuring the plan to ensure on course to achieve the vision and objectives.

Key Q: How to maintain the energy and commitment to change?


i.e. How to keep on moving forward? – Transitioning to on-going improvement.

Key Q: How to culture-in change?

NB The process rarely operates in a simplistic linear fashion, and is often iterative, dynamic and complex.

Since most organisations are very experienced at the delivering improved performance, this book focuses more on building organisational health. As Roger Enrico, former CEO of PepsiCo said, “The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff”.

Defining Organisational Health

Organisational health is defined by nine elements:

1 – Direction –  A clear sense of where the organisation is heading.

EBITDA margin (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is 1.9x more likely to be above the median when present. Collins & Porras research amongst 1000 CEO’s confirms that visionary companies outperform others financially.

2 – Leadership –  The extent to which the leaders inspire actions in others.

 EBITDA margin is 59% more likely to be above median when present.

3 – Culture and climate –  The level of shared beliefs and quality of interactions within the organisation.

EBITDA margin is 1.8x more likely to be above median when present. Companies with strong  cultures had a cumulative annual growth rate greater than weaker cultures (Revenue  +21% vs +9%; Stock price +23% vs +9%).

4 – Accountability – The extent that individuals know their roles and are empowered (and take on the responsibility) for making things happen.

EBITDA margin is 65% more likely to be in the top quartile. A 2003 study by Wagner, Parker and

Christiansen showed that people who feel psychological ownership work harder than those who don’t.

5 – Co-ordination & Control – The ability the organisation has to evaluate performance and risk (and its ability to address issues and opportunities). This is amongst the most important of the nine elements of health.

EBITDA margin is 73% more likely to be above average if present. A study by Davis & Albright in 2004 showed that banks that introduced a balanced scorecard system (i.e. a multi-metrics that captures different elements of the strategy and not just financial) outperformed those that only implemented financial metrics.

6 – Capabilities – Do they have the requisite skills and talent to deliver competitive advantage.

EBITDA margin is 67% more likely to be above median when present. McKinsey’s John  Stuckey in 2005 demonstrated that 35% of profitability could be explained by   capabilities.

7 – Motivation – The presence of enthusiasm that inspire employees to ‘go the extra mile’. EBITDA margin is 73% more likely to be above median when present.

8 – External orientation – The awareness and engagement with their customers and other external stakeholders.

EBITDA margin is 59% more likely to be above median when present.

9 – Innovation & learning – The flow (& quality) of ideas (and the ability to adapt and take on these new idea).

EBITDA margin is 66% more likely to be above median when present.

These nine elements can be broken down into a set of 37 working practices:

Element Practice
1- Direction  

1- Shared vision

2- Strategic clarity

3- Employee involvement

2- Leadership  

4- Authoritative leadership

5- Consultative leadership

6- Supportive leadership

7- Challenging leadership

3- Culture & climate  

8- Open & trusting

9- Internally competitive

10- Operationally disciplined

11- Creative & entrepreneurial

4- Accountability  

12- Role clarity

13- Performance contracts

14- Consequence management

15- Personal ownership

5- Coordination & control  

16- People performance

17- Operations management

18- Financial management

19- Professional standards

20- Risk Management

6- Capabilities  

21- Talent acquisition

22- Talent development

23- Process based capabilities

24- Outsourced expertise

7- Motivation  

25- Meaningful values

26- Inspirational leaders

27- Career opportunities

28- Financial incentives

29- Rewards & recognition

8- External orientation  

30- Customer focus

31- Competitive insights

32- Business partnerships

33- Government & community relations

9- Innovation & learning  

34- Top-down innovation

35- Bottom up innovation

36- Knowledge sharing

37- Capturing external ideas

The four archetypes

There is no one way of developing a healthy, successful organisations. Research has suggested there are at least four models: Leadership Driven, Execution Edge, Market Focus and Knowledge Core:

  1. Leadership Driven –  This archetype believe that leaders are the catalyst for performance. For them its critical to develop a pipeline of future leaders. Example = PepsiCo. The top five practices that drive this archetype are: Career Opportunities, Open & Trusting, Performance Contracts, Inspirational Leaders and Strategic Clarity.
  2. Execution Edge – Key for these organisations is strong execution and continuous improvement. The value of quality pervades all. Example = Walmart. The leader’s role is not to divest these responsibilities of delivery, but to be closely involved in them. The top five practices that drive this archetype are: Knowledge Sharing, Creative & Entrepreneurial, Employee Involvement, Talent Development and Internally Competitive.
  3. Market Focus –  These organisations (such as Apple and P&G) believe that shaping market trends and building a strong and innovative brands are key to their success. The top five practices that drive this archetype are: Business Partnerships, Customer Focus, Competitive Insights, Government & Community relations, and Financial management.
  4. Knowledge Core – Talent and knowledge are key to the success of these types of organisations. Example = McKinsey. The top five practices that drive this archetype are: Talent Acquisition, Role Clarity, Consequence Management, Rewards & Incentives, and Personal ownership.

Research would suggest that its easier for an organisation to improve its health than to change its archetype.


1- Aspire – Where do we want to go?

The best approach is to involve a wide range of people to define the vision/aspiration of the organisation. Research shows that transformations designed through wide scale involvement are 1.5x more likely to succeed (as there is greater engagement).

In an experiment, half a group were given a numbered lottery ticket. The other half were asked to chose their own lottery number.  Before the draw, everyone was offered the chance to sell back their ticket. Those who chose their own numbers wanted 5x more than those with assigned numbers.

in 2003, the IBM CEO, Sam Palmisano gave 50,000 employees the opportunity to rewrite the company’s values.

It’s also key to get employees to internalise the need for change. Tata motors got its people to listen to its customers about issues and areas for improvement.

2- Assess – How ready are we to go there?

Once an organisation has clarity over its goals, its best not to rush straight into action, but instead spend time to assess the capabilities and readiness to change. Organisations that undergo this step are 2.4x more likely to be successful.

It’s key to assess not just the skills & capabilities of the organisation but also the prevailing mindsets:

2.1 -Investigating skills & capabilities

An organisation needs to assess what are the capabilities it requires to successfully deliver its future vision (and where they currently stand on these). Those organisations that do undertake a proper capabilities audit are 6.6x more likely to succeed in their transformation. This is often best achieved through benchmarking (as people tend to overestimate their true capabilities). It’s also key to understand if the capabilities are transitory (i.e just to do with passing talent) or is it institutionalised (institutionalised capabilities need to be supported by systems/processes and culture).

There are three tests for a strategic capability:

  1. It is scarce in the industry
  2. It is superior to the competition and
  3. It is difficult to imitate.

For example P&G identified it had three core capabilities it needed to be distinctive and successful at: Brand building, Innovation and Leveraging Scale. For MacDonald’s they realised their core competency was in selecting prime sites.  For IBM it was a consultative sales force.  For Coke it was its brand and Google its ability to attract and retain talent.

2.2- Investigating Mindsets

Mindsets (i.e. beliefs and values held within the culture) often lie at the root of organisational ill health.  Identifying them is difficult and changing them even harder – yet they are the highest leverage point for management. Those organisations that did develop initiatives to help shift mindsets were x2 more likely of success than those who did not. Chasing behavioural change without addressing mindsets will not work. Roger Bannister’s four minute mile broke the mindset that allowed 16 others to also break it within three years.   Coca Cola shifted its mindset from ‘We sell 1bn servings of soft drinks a year (so little room for growth)’ to ‘We’ve got 47bn servings of beverages yet to go’.

Mindsets get learned, passed on and unconsciously locked into the culture (cf the monkeys in a cage with bananas hanging from the roof –

The authors suggest a number of ways to help:

  1. Laddering – (Keep asking ‘Why?’ x5)
  2. Focus groups
  3. Analysing patterns of words used by or about the  company
  4. Other techniques include storytelling, use of provocative statements, hypothetical situations and role playing.

One of the problems with the default ‘deficit-based model’ (i.e what’s wrong?-lets fix it) is that it tends to invoke blame (which in turn causes defensive behaviour and creates fatigue). The authors instead recommend a ‘constructionist’ approach based on appreciative inquiry where one focuses on what’s right,and then to replicate it out.

2 bowling teams were videoed and then given edited highlights of their game. One team was given an edit made up of only their mistakes. The other team was given an edit of only their good moves. The team given only their positive moves improved its score by x2 versus the team that just saw its mistakes.In reality its best to look at both. In research it has been shown that those organisations that focus on both its strengths alongside its weakness are 3x more likely to be successful in their transformations programmes.

3 – Architect – what do we need to do to get there?

Management need to provide clear direction on the strategy to achieve their vision targets. P&G’s Lafley made consumer focus the key issue (as the way to deliver double digit growth). Furthermore his team defined four core business and 10 countries to focus on.  He also spelt out what the organisation ‘would not do’ to provide further strategic clarity. He communicated his strategy with ‘Sesame Street’ simplicity and clarity and followed it up by spending considerable time coaching his line presidents and functional leaders.

The leader needs a strong team to support him/her. This does require investing time in developing the team. When Sir David Nicholson took over the NHS in 2006, he decided that rather than rushing into frenzied action, to invest a year in developing his top team. When Steve Luczo turned around Seagate, he said his number one priority was team building. Half of every meeting was spent on building team cohesiveness and reflecting on their mindsets. As a rule of thumb, the authors suggest spending 80% of the time in meetings in discussion and only 20% on presentations (as its only through allowing time for proper (often facilitated) discussion can quality decisions be arrived at).

Organisations should not try to conquer too many initiatives at any one time.

Those organisations that use a balanced portfolio approach to their initiatives (e.g. Familiarity vs Time) are 3.5x more likely to succeed.

Implementation – the four levers of influence

Strategy is easy. Implementation is usually the hardest part (People create complexity). As the Nobel Laureate, Murray Gell Mann once said, “Think how hard Physics would be if particles could think”.

The authors suggest four levers of influence:

  1. A compelling story – simply and authentically told (continuously – as people never fully listen). It often conveys the Where?, Why? and How? of change in an easily digestible (& transferable) way. Story can communicate more powerfully than facts alone as it also engages emotionally. We process a story through our own personal experience and not just intellectually (like data). Change programmes that used an emotionally engaging narrative are 3.7x more likely to be successful. Cowen, Beck and Barratt suggests it can be magnified by telling the organisational change story from four perspectives:

-The change it will make to society (providing a bigger purpose);

-The customer benefits;

-The working team; and

-The individual i.e how will if affect them (as the fear of personal change is often the biggest block to organisational change).

The authors recommend that storytelling skills are developed by all senior managers in an organisation.

2. Reinforcement mechanisms that support the new mindset (i.e. reward/celebrate the behaviour you want to see). When incentives are linked to the organisation’s aspirations, then success is 4x more likely. Critically, people must be empowered to affect the outcomes for which they are being judged against. The key is also to be explicit about what is required of them (cf the RACI model). Critically, not all incentives are monetary – often acknowledgement (or a higher purpose) has a more powerful affect.  Other mechanisms that need to be considered are the structures, systems and processes (as if these do not change they are likely to reinforce old behaviours and results). For example the absence of policies (such as there being no formal vacation policy nor dress code policy at Netflix) sends out just as clear a message about the organisation as what it does have policies for. Sometimes a lack of policies pushes greater responsibility onto the employees to make ‘moral’ responses rather than being ‘infantalised’ by rules and regulations.

3. Skills required for change – Building skills increases confidence and hence encourages that behaviour. Those change programs that train in the new skills required are 2.5x more likely to succeed. The authors have identified a number of key strategies for successful building of skills:

– Learning by doing

– Use of real life scenarios in the classroom

– Developing an ongoing training programme (and not just ‘one-offs’).

– Addressing social/relational skills (such as Emotional Intelligence) as well as   technical skills  (PepsiCo found that high EQ teams performed 20% above the norm, and low EQ teams performed 20% below the norm) – critically EQ is learnable.

– Augmenting internal skills with outside experts.

There is also a recognition that you may need to bring new people into the  organisation. This may be not just in certain skills, but also people with the right set of values (for example SouthWest Airlines recruit more on personality (such as  sense of humour, team player etc) than skills as they know skills can be more easily taught than to shift a personality traits/values.

4. Role modelling – Modelling is one of the primary ways we learn. Kurt Lewin argues that we are most influenced in our behaviour by those closest to us psychologically. Thus, the executives behaviour is ‘amplified’ – the slightest gesture is picked up and meaning added to it – they are ‘always on stage’ (e.g. McDonald’s co-founder Ray Kroc picked up litter, and Herb Kelleher, CEO of SouthWest Airlines spent his vacation working as a flight attendant, in baggage handling and with ground crew. This can be either negative or positive.  Research has found that when senior management are strongly involved then the transformation process is 2.6x more likely to be successful.

We also know that there are influential people inside an organisation without high rank. if one can involve these people in the change programme then research shows you are 3.8x more likely to be successful.

4 – Act – How do we manage the journey?

The authors suggest the best way is to run a 3 phase process: Test -> Learn -> Scale up (i.e ‘go slow’ to ‘go fast’). Ideally one needs a double pilot – Proof of concept and then proof of feasibility. A critical part of roll out is training the executives.

Almost all change programs undergo an emotional roller coaster that can derail the process.  The authors have developed a ‘change engine’ process to help unleash the potential energy trapped inside the organisation.  It has three elements: Structure, Ownership and Evaluation:

  1. StructurePrograms are 6x more likely to be successful if they are well structured. A structured approach requires that the ‘big picture’ is not lost in the focus on the minutiae of execution. Thus there needs to be a clear logic (e.g. Level 1: The transformation headline, Level 2: The broad performance/health themes and Level 3: The specific initiatives. This helps everyone see how their individual roles help build to the vision.
  2. OwnershipPrograms that energise employees through personal involvement are 2x more likely to be successful. The greater the sense of personal ownership, the greater the likelihood of effort and commitment and individual in the organisation will make. This needs to be followed up by clear roles and responsibilities (Programs with such clarity are 6x more likely to be successful). In 2004 Coca Cola was struggling. Its return to shareholder was at -26% whilst PepsiCo was +46%. After two failed CEO’s Neville Isdell  took over and launched the ‘Manifesto for Growth’. The focus was on not just on where the company aimed to go, but also how people should work together to get there. Working teams were set up to tackle the performance blockages in the organisation. It was designed as a collaborative process as it was recognised it needed everyone to pull together. The manifesto was co-created – not just by Isdell, but with the deep involvement of 150 senior managers with input from 400 others – thus it was their programme they were implementing – not his). Staff turnover fell by c25%, shareholder value jumped to +20%, with volume up +105m bottle of coke a day.

One needs a clear (and continuous) ‘marketing campaign’ to help sell in the changes. Often lack of communication and failure to acknowledge/address the issues of the employees hold back the change program.  Furthermore, the marketing needs to go viral ,and be passed around (rather than just relying on the centre (cf the power of  storytelling).

3.  EvaluationPrograms that track progress through metrics and milestones are 7x more likely to be successful. As Kurt Lewin pointed out, one cannot be ‘outside the system’. Thus change will create other changes (some of which are unexpected) – thus Management needs to be constantly vigilant and able to respond quickly and flexibly. The more regular one checks the health and performance key metrics, the quicker one can adjust if off target. The metrics set need to cover all levels: the specific change initiatives; metrics on health; metrics on performance and metrics on the organisational value overall.

5 – Advance – How do we keep moving forward?

Since the environment is constantly changing, one needs to hard wire the ability to change. Organisations that do this are 2.6x more likely to be successful. This comprises four main elements:

  1. Systems for sharing knowledge and best practice (“Knowledge shared is knowledge squared”)- NB Lessons can also be learned from outside the organisation. For example, A construction company took route planning lessons from a pizza delivery chain.
  2. Processes to identify opportunities for improvement
  3. Methods that facilitate continuous learning and
  4. Having dedicated expertise in change/improvement. For example a Dutch insurer have 200 ‘Lean’ experts and 20 Behavioural Change experts in house. Furthermore, leadership skills need to be constantly developed. Change programs that address leadership issues are 3.2x more likely to succeed. In research 76% of CEO’s felt that leadership development is important yet only 7% thought their organisation was doing it effectively.

Centred Leadership

Research shows that leadership is a critical factor for success. However, it is rarely the swash buckling, bravado style that builds long term organisational health and performance.

The authors define ‘Centred Leadership’ based on 5 elements which when combined provide the resilience and emotional capacity to continuously improve themselves and their organisation:

  1. Meaning – To motivate self and others through creating personal meaning and purpose in work. This is a critical element and also has a powerful impact on overall life satisfaction. Leadership is less about charisma but more about engaging fully in one’s own purpose. This authenticity, energy and passion becomes contagious and others are drawn in by the leader’s power of purpose.
  2. Framing – The ability to view (for self and others) issues through different perspectives that open up creative and constructive solutions. As Bill Clinton once commented, “No-one in his right mind wants to be led by a pessimist”
  3. Connecting – The ability to develop a wide range of connections with different people inside and outside the organisation. Heifertz and Linsky found that people who are more thoughtful about personal relationships are more successful leaders.  This links back into the findings that exceptional leaders are typically high in EQ.  They quickly establish deeper rapport through a combination of attention and empathy.
  4. Engaging – The ability to take responsibility – to step up and have the courage to take bold action (and to engage others) – cf Psychologist Julian Rotter’s concept of the locus of control.  This requires getting out and about and meeting people face to face (and not by e-mail). Lou Gerstner, ex CEO of IBM had a sign in his office which read ‘A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world’.  Engaging also means listening and inviting two way conversation. David Farr, CEO of Emerson Electrics asked 4 questions to his employees when he met them: 1) ‘How do we make a difference?’ 2) ‘What improvement ideas are you working on?’ 3) ‘When did you last get coaching from your boss?’ and 4) ‘Who is the enemy?’ Engaging also means being willing to step outside one’s comfort zone, and often expose one’s own vulnerabilities (cf Emotional Intelligence).
  5. Energising – Investing in one’s own energy level (physically, mentally and emotionally) and the ability to energise others. One needs to build up a resilience to failure as the road to success is often marked by failures along the way. Schwartz and Loehr, founders of the Energy Project recommend people spend time managing their energy rather than their time (as with more energy, you can achieve more).


10 Questions to ask over the 5 stages:


-Do we have a compelling medium-term vision for change that includes specific performance targets, and does a critical mass of leaders feel deep ownership of it?

-Do we have a shared language, robust baseline, and clear aspiration for the health of our organisation, and does a critical mass of leaders feel deep ownership of these things too?


-Do we know what capabilities are strategically important for delivering our change vision, and do we have a solid assessment of the state of these capabilities in our organisation today?

-Do we have a clear insight into the mindsets that underlie current limiting and liberating behaviours, as well as the mindsets that are needed to make our health aspirations a reality?


-Have we defined a concrete set of performance improvement initiatives that will deliver our change vision, and are they balanced in terms of timing and risk?

-Do we have a robust plan for influencing healthy mindsets that leverages storytelling, reinforcement mechanisms, skill building, and role modelling, and have we integrated these efforts into our performance initiatives?


-Have we tailored the delivery model for each initiative in our portfolio to take account of scale, capacity, urgency, difficulty and customisation needs?

-Have we generated energy for change by providing a coherent structure for the program, creating formal and informal ownership, and building in regular evaluation to identify where adjustments are needed?


-Have we put in place the structure, processes, systems and people to drive continuous improvement in both performance and health?

-Throughout the transformation, have we methodically developed a group of committed leaders who have the qualities to drive continuous improvement from now on?


This book is like a filet steak – it’s dry and takes a lot to digest it but is full of important facts. Its a but like a mini MBA in its own right. In my view, it’s worth reading in full to get the depth of insight it offers.

The strategy is compelling by the amount of work the team did in advance to test its effectiveness. The book does at least acknowledge that the situation of any organisation is unique, dynamic and complex that any 5 point plan cannot be simply plugged in and left to run.  (The 5 point plan is more of a guiding philosophy that requires constant management attention and effort).

About slooowdown

Consultant in the fields of Relationships and Change
This entry was posted in Brands, Business strategy, Change, Decision making, Leadership, Management, Marketing, Team building, Transformational teams. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Beyond Performance – How great organisations build ultimate competitive advantage By Scott Keller and Colin Price

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