Four Tips for Creating Your High Performance Company in 2015

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By: Mark Hordes

Introduction: Objects in the Mirror are Closer than They Appear

I have always been intrigued by the statement on my car side mirror that says, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” Auto experts who have reflected on this statement indicate that it’s about misperception of space, distorted perceptions of distance, and how light is reflected from many positions, (standing still, moving forwards or backwards.)

These are all important driving tips that ideally keep us safe, but can also provide value when applied to an organizations Leadership, culture, strategy, teams and the performance of a company.

Below are Four Tips that can help you reflect on your organizational mirror and performance in 2015, and ideally will keep you moving forward, on the path to increased profitability, engaged employees, satisfied customers and clients, and the challenge of change and business competitiveness.

1. Gain Consensus on What High Performance Means for Our Company?
Every company needs their own definition of high performance, below is an example to help trigger your thinking and perhaps start an internal dialogue

“Our high performance organization is made up of highly energized staff, who are focused on strategic priorities, our vision and strategy is understood by all, productivity is increased, market share grows, the workforce is highly motivated, teams function collaboratively, customer satisfaction and loyalty are paramount, and
innovation is a core belief.”

2. Accumulate Evidence as to the Strengths and Weaknesses of Our Organizations Leadership, Culture and Talent
Perceptions without evidence, is just an idea that is difficult to put into action. Assess and accumulate “hard and qualitative data” as to “what is working and not working” in the company. This process will set a path forward for action, and at the same time create a baselines and a set of targets for improvement.

3. Avoid the One- Size – Fits All Approach to Managing Change
One size fits all may be great when “buying socks “but less than satisfying when organizations are faced with the challenge of change. Questions of urgency, speed, pace, complexity, levels of resistance and resolve, initiative’s absorption, and the design of the change process, program, project, enterprise or function, must be operationalized effectively to ensure change will stick. Do it right the first time. The cost of failure can be quite high.

4. Build Collaborative High Performance Teams
In today’s business reality, no one employee, leader or manager has all the answers. Train every team member in how to lead a team, communicate across boundaries, how to reach consensus, how to manage conflict, and how to set actionable performance targets and plans that are aligned to accountability. The result will be outcomes of high performance and sustainable team results.

By implement these four critical organizational high performance tips you will accomplish unprecedented levels of success in the New Year.


Mark Hordes is a Senior Partner at Allen Austin. He brings over 25 years of experience in consulting with organizations in Human Capital Performance Improvement, Leadership Development, Creating High Performance Organizations and Teams, as well as Culture and Change Management.  He was a former partner with Accenture and also held executive and consulting positions with Molten Group, American Productivity & Quality Center, Sinclair Group, Alexander Consulting and Dillingham Associates.

Mark is the co-author of the best-selling business book, “S-Business: Reinventing the Services Organization” by Select Books, New York, New York. A keynote speaker at industry conferences and quoted frequently by leading media and publications, he is a guest contributor to the Houston Business Journal and Chronicle as well as BIC publication. Mr. Hordes is a 2015 honoree, named by The Houston Business Journal in “Who’s Who in Energy.”



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