I have yet to meet a manager who does not think
team performance could be improved 10%. But,
and a crucial BUT, ensuring the improved team
effort drives increased team results depends en-
tirely on the exact link between staff effort and
results. A 10% gain in performance can drive a 4%
change in sales and costs which due the multiplier
effect will lift profits 30-50%. With greater staff
satisfaction from the success. Who would not
Doing ideal actions does not guaran-
tee success but not doing them guar-
Think of a goal, any goal. Can you imagine it being
achieved without doing those actions needed to
achieve it? The idea is silly. So we have a general
proposition, for every goal there are actions,
called ideal actions, necessary for the goal to be
achieved. Ideal actions offer the greatest chance of
greatest goal success. They belong to the goal and
are of the quality that doing them does not guar-
antee success but not doing them guarantees fail-
Organizations are collections of goals
Strategy is the foundation of the organization, its
purpose, the reason it exists. Derived from strate-
gy are divisions, business units, teams and roles in
teams. Each unit has goals derived from the unit
above. The goal structure from strategy to every
role in every team is called the goal cascade. If
each goal in each of the lowest units is achieved,
then the overall strategy is achieved.
Success for people is delivery of ideal
actions to standard while organization
success is achievement of the goals
Selection of ideal actions in a role was only partly
the choice of the person to deliver the role. The
ideal actions are signed off by the team leader, and
manager of the team leader and ultimately by the
Identification and delivery of ideal actions to stand-
ard is the rollout of strategy. The CEO is responsi-
ble for strategy achievement, hence is responsible
for roll out of strategy. They can delegate the effort
of identifying goal and ideal actions in each role,
but they cannot delegate the responsibility for it. If
the CEO is not committed to the process of ensur-
ing clarity of goal-action in every role, and commit-
ted to the delivery of the ideal actions to standard
in every role, then organization results will be less
than they could be.
People have the choice to do it or not
People have the choice of doing the ideal actions or
not and so choose success or failure. This choice is
exactly the same as that of any sports person intent
on winning the game. Business is not a game, but
our relationship between the ideal actions neces-
sary for success in sport is exactly the same as our
relationship with the ideal actions for success in
business. If people choose not to do the ideal ac-
tions, then the organization has the choice of ask-
ing them to leave.
For every goal there are ideal actions that must be acted out if the
goal is to be achieved
Building in flexibility and innovation
To be flexible in sport means
having skills with different types
of play, and having the judgement
of when each type of play is ap-
propriate and when not. The
same applies in business. Flexibil-
ity is crucial, but it must be ‘built
in’ to the skills, understanding
and mind set of the person. The
structure of ideal actions must
take account of flexibility, and
guide creativity on identifying
what has been learned, what has
changed, and what needs to be
developed. Each person working
‘on’ the business by creatively
adjusting and adapting their
agreed ideal actions, and working
‘in’ the business by delivering
agreed ideal actions to standard.
Questions for reflection
1. Could the goal cascade be clearer? Could the ideal actions be
clearer? If ideal actions and KPIs 10% clearer, would that ena-
ble an 8% gain in staff performance? If staff performance im-
proves 8%, could this improve sales and cost 2%? What is the
impact on profits of a 2% increase in sales and a 2% decrease
in costs? (If EBITDA is 10% at start, it improves to 11.8%).
2. Who is responsible for driving the focus as outlined in 1? The
CEO...? What is role of HR, Executive team, and team leader-
3. If goal-action principle fully applied, what is the effect on per-
formance management, training and coaching, engagement,
talent identification and management, promotion, manager
and leadership development, recruitment, culture and cultural
development ... etc.?
4. Is innovation and flexibility important? How does a tennis
player or golfer build it into their play? How could it be built
into ideal actions?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org to meet and explore how this system will lift results in your business.
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