Two decades of research shows that an organization's culture is the key factor in its performance. A multi-year Harvard Business school study on the links between corporate culture and performance found that high-performance cultures resulted in 682% revenue growth versus just 166% for low performing cultures. Net income growth was 756% versus 1%!!
The accelerating pace of change, new technologies, customer demands, e-commerce, workforce demographics, business model challenges, fierce competition, shareholder expectations, margin pressures, shrinking cycle times, shifting work ethics, and the like are pulling organizations in many directions. Now, more than ever, organizations need the bonding glue of a strong culture to hold everything and everyone together.
High performing organizations pull together the intangible leadership issues that define their unique character and rally people around a deeper sense of purpose. These powerful feelings are made tangible through the strong implementation of management processes and systems that translate ideals into action. It's recognizing that vision without an action plan is just a dream. Action without a vision is drudgery.
Jim and his associates have spent almost thirty years helping thousands of managers in hundreds of organizations build high-performance organizations. As cofounder of The Achieve Group, Jim Clemmer worked with California-based Zenger Miller (both are now part of AchieveGlobal) and Tom Peters to help executive teams implement a cultural change process called Toward Excellence.
Jim's first book, The VIP Strategy, was built around Achieve's "Vision Integrated Performance" model for cultural change and leadership development. His second book, Firing on All Cylinders, built upon Achieve and Zenger Miller's highly successful experiences in helping organizations develop the skills, processes, and culture to reach higher levels of service and quality. His next book, Pathways to Performance extended his research and rapidly growing experience with management teams further. The Leader's Digest provides a framework for leadership development.
The "Leading a High-Performance Culture" workshop draws from the deep expertise of The CLEMMER Group associates, the Achieve/Zenger Miller experiences, and Jim's best-selling books.
Each workshop is tailored to the audience and organizational circumstances. Following is an overview of the main sections that Jim can draw from in customizing a session for each Client.
The What and Why of High-Performance Cultures
Why Most Change Efforts Fail
The Performance Balance
For a brief overview of the material covered in this section click here and here.
Pathways to a High-Performance Culture
While some development and change efforts may shift a few short-term performance indicators, many initiatives fail to change the very character and fabric of the team or organization. These efforts often make surface-level changes. But few are integrated with a systematic and strategic approach to high performance.
The Pathways Framework has evolved over many years of best practices research and very successful use with hundreds of management teams. The process used here is a highly iterative one. It is tailored to the main areas that participants want to focus upon or feel they need to address in more depth.
Here's the typical process used in a one or two-day workshop:
For an overview of the "compass model" used in this section and more depth on each Pathway click here.
Focus and Context (Vision, Values, and Purpose)
Strategy and Direction
Measures and Rewards
Processes and Systems
Learning and Development
Timeless Leadership Principles for Team and Organization Success
Unimproving managers rarely develop improving organizations. High-performance cultures and leadership are closely related. Part of changing "them" involves changing me. High performing cultures are only possible through high-performance leadership. High performing leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal "leadership wheel" across the "Timeless Leadership Principles."
This section builds on Jim's best-selling book, The Leader's Digest: Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success and may also draw from the accompanying Practical Application Planner.
Depending upon the length and focus of the workshop, the process typically used starts with an overview of each of the following Leadership Principles. Participants then assess their team/organization. From here, small breakout discussion groups or the whole group (depending upon workshop size and objectives) review application exercises and brainstorm potential application ideas. The workshop usually finishes with setting practical action plans.
Focus and Context: Points of Origin
Responsibility for Choices: From Victim to Victor
Authenticity: Let's Get Real
Passion and Commitment: All Fired Up
Spirit and Meaning: Matters of the Heart
Growing and Developing: All That We Can Be
Mobilizing and Energizing: Inspiring Peak Performance
Customizing any "Leading a High-Performance Culture" workshop starts with defining the key objectives and outcomes of the session.
For Management and/or Frontline Staff
This is generally an interactive and inspirational session that reinforces or provides participants with an "edutaining" overview of the keys to a high-performance culture and leadership. A few assessment and application exercises may be selected on the basis of pre-workshop discussions and customization.
Participants complete a greater number of the assessment and application exercises from The Leader's Digest: Practical Application Planner and/or extensive "Leading a High-Performance Culture" workbook. Participants may assess personal, team, or organizational effectiveness across Transformation Pathways and/or the Timeless Leadership Principles. This helps determine which Pathways or Principles they want to complete as a whole group or in small discussion groups (depending upon the key issues and number of people in the session). The amount of time and depth in each agenda area is determined by preworkshop discussions and customization.
For Management Staff and/or Blending with Staff (see next option)
Participants typically complete all assessments and application exercises in The Leader's Digest: Practical Application Planner and may start selected ones in Growing the Distance: Personal Implementation Guide. They get deep into the key leadership issues that need to be addressed and develop detailed action plans. Key priorities, next steps, and follow-through processes are established.
Progressive Blending for Staff and/or Various Management Levels
This starts as a half or one-day session for staff and management together with organization or team assessments, issues to be addressed, and implementation brainstorming. Everyone gets the same message, develops common language, and gets involved in the improvement process (which dramatically increases commitment to change). Jim then facilitates a senior management team priority and action planning session the afternoon of the second day to make decisions and begin implementation. Sometimes the progression is first a half-day with everyone, continuing with a day including all management, and a final half-day with just the senior management team.
Confidential Preworkshop Web-Based Assessments (Optional)
These assessments can be built around the questions in The Leader's Digest: Practical Application Planner and/or Transformation Pathways. All or selected assessments (depends upon the half, one, or two-day version) are completed confidentially and anonymously web site by each participant before the session begins. Scores are tabulated and a summary report is brought to the workshop for discussion, prioritization, and action.
This option provides:
To view the Transformation Pathways assessment click here.
What You and Your Team Can Expect From This Workshop