This is a no–nonsense resource that gets to the root of an organization s performance problem. By using science, the authors examine the best practices of great teamwork, the how–to of building high–performing organizations, and the code to building a winning culture and driving sustainable growth.
Paula Ketter, editor of TD magazine, Association for Talent Development
"With an unashamed focus on data and empirical evidence, Accelerating Performance stands out from the sea of performance and change management books that are based on anecdotes and theory. As such, it is essential reading for anyone serious about analysing or improving organisational, team or individual performance."
"It is absolutely true that ′the soft stuff is the hard stuff′ and that most HR departments need less PowerPoint and more Excel. Accelerating Performance offers a sharp analysis of how successful companies ′crack the code′ to build a winning culture and drive sustainable growth and do it faster than their competitors."
Jim Smith, president and CEO, Thomson Reuters
"In a continually disrupted marketplace, companies live and die by their ability to accelerate their performance. The genius of this book is its rigorous analysis of the blockers to acceleration and how to remove them and its insights into the agility required to transform a business. It is eye–opening stuff."
Mark Wilson, group CEO, Aviva
"Using a deeply analytical and forensic approach, the authors tease out why some companies have avoided the drag of underperformance. Their detailed analysis of these ′superaccelerators′ reinforces some deeply held beliefs but also uncovers crucial insights about what it takes to succeed. Filled with insights, action points, and wisdom this is a must–read for any leader tasked with building a high–performance organization."
Lynda Gratton, professor of management practice, London Business School, and coauthor of The 100–Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity
"Health care is delivered in teams. Whether it′s in the operating theater, the hospital, or in the community, it is how we work together that determines our ability to save lives. Accelerating Performance sheds light on the practices that constitute great teamwork."
Lord Ara Darzi, Paul Hamlyn chair of surgery, Imperial College London, and former U.K. health minister
"Some business books excel at data–based analytical rigor, others at strategy, leadership, or soft skills. Accelerating Performance integrates all these vital components and teaches leaders how to drive fast with vision."
Tom Glocer, founder of Angelic Ventures LP, director of Merck & Co. and Morgan Stanley, and member of the supervisory board for Publicis Groupe
"An ambitious, breakthrough book! Who wouldn t want their company to be in Colin and Sharon′s group of super–performers? Drawing on original research, illuminating cases, and practical advice, they show us a surprising even unfashionable route for companies to get there: not by reinventing themselves but by becoming significantly better versions of who they already are! Smart, funny, with a very high ′PIPSI′ (provocative ideas per square inch)."
Robert Kegan, Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development, Harvard University, and coauthor of An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization
"Delivering sustainable, standout performance is the holy grail for business leaders. Colin and Sharon present a compelling agenda to help leaders increase the metabolic rate in their business, thereby creating the conditions for long–term success. Boards and CEOs should take note and take action."
David Roberts, chairman, Nationwide Building Society
About the Authors xvii
SECTION I MOVE FAST OR DIE FASTER 5
CHAPTER 1 The Soft Stuff Really Is the Hard Stuff 7
CHAPTER 2 How to Increase Your METAbolic Rate 17
CHAPTER 3 A Learning Laboratory 31
CHAPTER 4 Our Journey to META 41
CHAPTER 5 What s Your Current Pace?: A Diagnostic 55
SECTION II THE ACCELERATION IMPERATIVE 63
CHAPTER 6 Accelerating Strategy: Less Plan, More Planning 65
CHAPTER 7 Accelerating Organizations: Turning Drag into Drive 85
CHAPTER 8 Accelerating Teams: Capability Equals Ability Minus Ego 123
CHAPTER 9 Accelerating Leaders: The Leader Sets the Pace 149
SECTION III HOW TO START 165
CHAPTER 10 Finding the Right Recipe 167
CHAPTER 11 The ABC of Behavior Change 181
CHAPTER 12 Change the People or Change the People 199
CHAPTER 13 The Board as Catalyst 211
SECTION IV THE FOUR KEY SKILLS 223
CHAPTER 14 Ripple Intelligence: Join the Dots 225
CHAPTER 15 Resource Fluidity: Match Resources to Opportunities 237
CHAPTER 16 Dissolving Paradox: Reframe the Issue 249
CHAPTER 17 Liquid Leadership: Connect Beyond Hierarchy 263
CHAPTER 18 Conclusion: It s More than a Program 273
Research Appendix 291