Blog: High performers and the C word

Life @ Work

High performers and the C word

Organisations rattle on about creating high performers. I am examining this phrase (creating high performers) that, like many phrases these days, has become fashionable to use without our examining what it means actually.
High performers and the C word

Organisations rattle on about creating high performers. I am examining this phrase (creating high performers) that, like many phrases these days, has become fashionable to use without our examining what it means actually.


Can we actually create high performers? I really wonder. To me, it seems like the people with capability for sustained performance that exceeds workplace expectations (let’s call them high performers) are already there in the system, they do not need to be created anew.


All that the org needs to do is to identify such people and create the conditions that sustain their excellent workplace performance. The shift in focus for leaders and talent managers is important. It has to do with the C word and yes, you got it –Culture.


On the other hand, I see L&D folks engaged in even more training, more workshops, more offsites, more "busy" days, time for some double loop learning, don't you think?


But, then, culture is an ambiguous thing to handle, it’s more long term, it has uncertainties, it is infinitely more complex than training, so what does it give? We hear statements that leaders today need to be more tolerant of uncertainties and ambiguities, more embracing of complexity etc, why would we not give them culture on the menu?


One of my hypotheses - actually two of them are -- probably L&D folks find themselves deficient in their knowledge and skills when it comes to Organization Development (OD) and they do not believe that they have the required authority (adhikaaram - a more precise Indian term) for this. And, maybe the two are intertwined - perhaps having the knowledge and skills would give them the adhikaaram.


So, a clarion call then, for L&D folks to move beyond calendars and spreadsheets…

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Topics: Life @ Work, Performance Management, Employee Engagement, Culture

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