11 Performance management moving actual toward perfect performance
I recall several years ago a TV program on a young lady
gymnast training for the Olympics. In one sequence she
was practicing the dismount from the beam. The coach
demanded she repeat it and repeat it. She became very
upset, yelled at the coach and stormed off. She sat and cried
alone for a few minutes, then the coach went to her and
spoke quietly to her and she then returned to the beam and
repeated the practice until she got it to standard. It took a
further 2 hours of work.
The program then cut to the Olympics, competing on the
beam, doing the exact dismount she had practiced. She won
the gold medal. She hugged her coach and was ecstatic.
The young athlete accepted the vision of her coach as hav-
ing in mind the standard needed to win. She accepted he
could see perfect performance, and was guiding her to that
standard. She wanted to be the very best she could, and was
willing to work hard, but at times it got on top of her and
she reacted. Did she do it for the coach, for her country, her
team, or for herself? A little of each, with the balance being
toward her own striving to be good as what she had chosen
Within OPD theory: As in sport so in business
They say there is no ‘i’ in team ... however there is in win.
In business winning is not about the other person, the com-
petitor, it is about doing the things that need done to the
standard they need done. Winning is about whether or not
we got it right, and that means each person in the team got
it right. Teams are collections of individual’s assigned
aspects of a task such that if each person delivers that ex-
pected of them the team achieves it overall goal. A good
team also ‘get on’, support each other, and generally enjoy
the effort. The fundamental is each individual is to their
assigned task in the team as the athlete to the dismount. If
the individual is not committed to delivering the task to
standard, then the team could fail.
Engagement as embracing our own success
A person who does not want to succeed wont. At work we
are not talking gold medals, just doing agreed ideal ac-
tions to a reasonable, transparent standard. If ideal actions
done to standard, KPIs achieved, if KPIs achieved then
team KPIs achieved, and if team KPIs achieved, divisional
KPIs achieved...etc. You should by now be familiar with
the organizational structure.
The psychological core is each person committing to
strive for personal satisfaction and success at work in
exactly the same way the young athlete was committed to
their personal success. The ONLY difference is the level
and the intensity.
Imagine a team member at work: There is extensive dis-
cussion on ideal actions and KPIs, and the person agrees
the ideal actions that offer greatest chance of greatest
success. The person agrees they wish to be successful and
work, and therefore agree that in the assigned job success
is delivery of ideal actions to standard. It is open and
transparent, the standard is realistic and achievable, the
person asked to do their bit in such a way they first serve
their own self-esteem and satisfaction, and second serve
Within OPD theory performance management is the essential team leader activity of
working with the team member supporting and encouraging them to realize the level of
success they seek and enjoy the daily task of doing it
Clarity + skill + motivation = performance
Clarity: Clear in mind the ideal actions needed
to ensure greatest chance of greatest goal success.
Skill: Having the skills to do the ideal actions.
Motivation: The emotions associated with the
ideal actions, with self-at-work, with the team and
company, and above all commitment not to let
oneself down. Positive emotions associated with
work arise from the desire to find satisfaction in
life, to get up each morning and look in the mirror
and be proud of the person looking back, to feel
supported by the team leader and team making the
work day enjoyable, and the positive feedback from
the team, and company and senior team leaders
congratulating the team’s performance and success.
The team leader does the task of performance man-
agement each day, part of the routine of manage-
ment by walking around (MBWA). Guiding the
team have fun, enjoy the day while doing the tasks,
refining skills at delivery of ideal actions, reminding people of
the ideal actions, keeping them top of mind, etc.
Once each month the team leader meet with each person as a
formal performance management review: Did we get the num-
bers? If yes, what ideal actions really work for us and how will
we build on them? If no, which ideal actions were not done to
standard, and what will we do about that? It is not recorded
formally, it is not for the ‘organization’, it is a working discus-
sion on how the team leader and the team member can work
together on enabling greater work life success for the team
member. The team member ‘feels’ the team leader’s commit-
ment to support them to be successful and to build work life
Question for reflection
If each person in your organization was committed to their
success as above, and guided as above by the team leader,
would results improve?
Newsletter 11 Performance management moving actual
toward perfect performanceNewsletter topics
1. Seeking new thinking.
2. How to double profits.
4. Linking staff action to
5. Human performance
6. HR as rollout of strate-
7. Behavioral structure of
8. Understanding human
9. Linking people to be-
10. Perfect human perfor-
11. Performance manage-
ment moving actual
toward perfect perfor-
12. Built in flexibility.
13. A scientifically proven
balanced solution to
as a driver of results.
14. Redefining engage-
16. All HR policy changes.
17. Lifting expectation.
18. Redefining leadership.
19. Redefining manage-
20. Why has it not been
21. Stop. Reflect. Chose
22. Why can’t we do it
23. Mind of the CEO.
24. HR as the ‘right hand’
of the CEO.
25. Building a ‘verbal
26. Understanding human
27. Building and imple-
menting an integrated
28. Human capital.
29. Finding and develop-
30. Choosing better ideas.
Reading these newsletters you will gain
new insight into how to manage the link
between people and your organization so
that both benefit by increased results,
greater success, increased profits, more
fulfilling work, and greater satisfaction.
Contact: email@example.com to meet and explore how this system will lift results in your business.
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