Nowadays, companies must provide more concrete and personalized solutions to their customers. They must organize themselves to control the transformations and t the knowledge of their employees to improve their competitiveness.
But, how is it possible to be efficient in a competitive environment? What are the performance levers to be developed? What is an agile company?
Performance, a word that guides daily every manager
Performance is largely based on the notions of effectiveness and efficiency and it often focuses on the financial dimension. However, at a period where competition is developing on several aspects and risks are spreading, a company’s performance is no longer measured only by an increase in profit or the achievement of objectives. Other factors may also be taken into account.
On the first hand, performance is naturally linked to value, but also to the consistency and relevance of the choices made: successful companies measure their decisions, which are linked logically to each other and fully compatible with the strategies implemented.
On the other hand, during a process of activating performance levers within a company, it is necessary to identify the value of material and human resources. In other words, it is about distinguishing the means already implemented or choosing the tools adapted to each decision taken.
Human capital is also a factor that a company must not forget. Human performance depends on management policies, the state of social relations and the mobilization of employees and their productivity.
Finally, the concept of “performance” remains related to the company’s vision, strategy, objectives and resources. A company’s performance depends not only on the monetary aspect, but also on the way it conducts itself.
From performance to excellence
In his book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins focuses on so-called “successful” companies. From there, he drew a model of excellence. Here are some examples of similarities between these “successful” companies:
- A level 5 leadership style where the leader needs all his or her abilities from the lower levels and shows humility and determination
- An ability to overcome the brutality of facts and maintain faith in the success of a society.
- A culture of discipline that, unlike dictatorship, leads employees to rigour, organization and transparency and drives them to creativity and initiative.
- The application of the hedgehop concept, which reflects the ability to transform challenges into simple ideas. This is based on 3 unifying principles:
- Focus on areas where the company has the potential to excel compare to the competition,
- Be fully familiar with the fundamentals on which the company’s business is based,
- Be passionate about what you do, rather than forcing yourself to be passionate,
Agility, a value above all human
Agility, a term that combines “flexibility” and “anticipation”, is an essential prerequisite for any confident and sustainable organization. The quote from Heraclitus of Ephesus “Nothing is permanent, except change” illustrates this state of mind to which companies must adhere. However, it is not a sudden change but a slow evolutionary process with small, regular, painless changes that significantly improve thigs through detail. Adopting an agile attitude means changing the way of thinking and adapting to the market instability.
So, of course, change cannot be impose directly on people, but it is appropriate to prepare an environment conducive to change. That is why, changing the culture and the way of thinking is one of the greatest challenges that the companies are facing today.
The corporate culture for a perfect harmonization
There is one element that naturally promotes team performance: the corporate culture. This includes the values, the identity, the habits or the hierarchical system of each society. Culture is unique to each organization and it is up to each of them to define it in order to differentiate itself from its competitors. It is an essential element for the company’s success since it can profoundly shape the way employees work and lead the company to a high level of performance.
According to the Board leadership in Corporate Culture study conducted in 2017, corporate culture is ranked 3rd in the priorities of executives, behind strategy and financial profitability.
5 steps to create a corporate culture or improve the existing one:
- Realize a report to identify existing good practices.
- If necessary, clarify with your employees the core values of your company to prevent counterproductive behaviors.
- One you have identified the behaviors that create value, highlight the initiatives and processes that have made it possible to achieve objectives more quickly.
- Avoid confusion and lack of transparency, instead provide a clear and consistent organization to help employees assimilate each process.
- Make the culture of change and agility an essential practice in dealing with a changing, ambiguous and turbulent environment.
Nowadays, the hyper-competitive environment is making ever-increasing demands and has a profound impact on any firms. These must inevitably activate all the available and necessary performance levers in order to certify their sustainability.
The identification of resources, the intensity of some skills and competencies of the manager but also of the team, the implementation of agility and the culture of change as well as the animation of the corporate culture… These levers, sometimes underestimated, influence the overall performance of a company. Once again, this performance is a multidimensional and relative notion for each company. This is why it is important for each of them to measure themselves from different angles and with different indicators and not only in terms of a financial dimension.
Making a company a high-performance structure is an art within everyone’s reach, subject to a rational management and optional organization within the company.