In this second post on how we can and do ‘focus on the other’ as we talk about performance, I want to begin a longer discussion on my views about how performance happens in organizations in this post a ‘neat and simple’ version. It gets messy later!!
As I concluded in our last post, achievement of purpose offers a simple and straightforward basis for discussing what performance is. Developing a clear understanding of what performance “is” is an important initial aspect in any discussion of performance. However, this is only a small part in the way performance actually happens in organizations.
How is this thing we call performance is created?
What I am much more interested in is the ‘how’ or ‘process’ of performance: How this thing we call performance is created. How it moves, changes, adapts, grows and becomes known. How it develops within groups and organizations; and most importantly, how we, as the individuals who make up our groups and organizations engage with others to make performance meaningful. In this context, performance notions of purpose, completeness and consistency open up to a whole new world of possibilities and meaning.
In the world of work there are two key elements of the performance process necessary for sustaining successful, high-performing organizations. The first is the more commonly recognized element of sharing understanding: the need for all those in a particular performance context, to seek consistency (a certain sameness) in their understanding of what performance ‘is’ in that context.
The second, less well-understood element is what I like to call collective wisdoming: the increase in the value and validity of performance information as more people are involved more often in the process of information development. It is the continuous interplay of these two elements that facilitates the necessary outcomes of any performance process: the creation of meaningful knowledge about individual, group or organizational performance.
Basically, we work at developing among all those involved a clearer shared understanding of where we want to go and how we want to get there. And then we engage as many people as possible, as often as possible, to talk about what we are doing, how we are going and what we need to do next, then we increase our possibilities of performance success.
Neat and Simple hey!
Next post: Performance gets Messy