The one with high results teams

Life is a strange set of coincidences isn’t it?

Two weeks ago I had lunch with my new team in advance of starting. It was a fun experience and I certainly benefited from being able to meet them in an informal setting (and with chicken katsu curry thrown in for good measure). Later that afternoon I met up with @dougshaw1 for a catch up on a myriad of different things and he was telling me about a talk he’d seen at TedX Portsmouth featuring a guy talking about performance.

So this week full steam ahead for the new gig and in meeting the FD (who it turns out is Welsh and we bonded over the grand slam) he invited me to join his team for a day long session they were having with an external coach whose name is Chris Shambrook. Chris works for a business who support our organisation with leadership development and coaching.

Being a nosey type, in dribs and drabs I have been reading through their website and their LinkedIn profiles and whilst going through their blog yesterday evening the penny finally dropped that the TedX guy is Dr Chris Shambrook who is running the team day for the finance team today.

I have linked to his talk below but he makes two points that have stuck with me – both are things you kind of know but actually the clarity with which he presents them really allow you to think notice them:

1. When organisations talk about performance they are usually talking about results (all about the outputs and no consideration of the inputs)

2. Why do we only give performance improvement plans for people we adjudge to be not delivering results?

You could argue that we do give performance improvement plans to people who are delivering results but we just call them something different but it is worthy of some consideration I think.

He gives some really fun illustrations of the differences of consideration of performance in sport (he works with Olympians) and performance in organisations and rather than transcribe them I’ll let you watch the video and although I can’t join for the whole day today I am looking forward to meeting Chris and seeing how his TedX talk and his perspectives manifest in an actual team who are working together.




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4 responses to “The one with high results teams

  1. Pingback: The one with the paradox of metrics | Masters or Bust

  2. Pingback: The one with the wrong era | Masters or Bust

  3. Interesting piece – really like the video about performance. A massive consideration for all businesses. Looking at some of the organisations I work with their whole performance assessment is focused on outputs and, for some, rarely on the inputs.

  4. Just looped back to this from your other post – missed it first time round. Excellent video, thought provoking stuff like:

    “In sport, the way in which you are rewarded in the world of business only exists in the sporting world where corruption is present”

    His description of an alternative way of managing Wayne Rooney’s performance on the pitch is a classic and really exposes the contextual difference of the meaning of performance between the business and sporting world.

    Overall im not a big fan of the over indulgence in sporting cliches when thinking about business performance but I think this is spot on. Also, having seen Steve Martyn speak recently on influence and John Seddon on systems thinking, the whole argument for incentives starts to look increasingly weak, simply because the outcomes are often far from what you are trying to achieve.

    In answer to your second point, its simply because we misunderstand performance. In fact, I would wager that we dont actually give “performance improvement plans” to people who are judged not to be delivering results – certainly not in the context of performance as Chris talks about it. We give a list of things to fix that are apparently going wrong.

    For those that are doing well, and sometimes for everyone, we do “development plans” but in a lot of organisations these dont exist.

    @Jeremy – 95% of the recruitment sector is output based and incentive driven – explains a lot. 😉

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