At the moment ‘Performance Enhancement’ is considered an ugly phrase, particularly when associated with EPO’s, THG’s and other steroids and the like. But the world of business is not governed by such rules. As long as remaining ethical, it would be short-sighted, indeed shirking a (moral?) responsibility for a business not to be looking to do their best in any way possible.
Too often we see companies limiting their potential by applying some self imposed rules as to what they can and can’t do. More the shame, as it is not really that difficult for organisations to reap performance gains by staying the right side of legal, but by doing something differently.
The scope for applying a new approach that delivers an improvement is wide. Just think: processes, people, leadership, goals, product, service, planning, quality… the list goes on.
Often the secret can be as simple as just looking around, climbing out of commercial ‘ivory towers’ and learning from other fields. Consider some of the areas that can offer business valuable lessons:
- Military methods can give a multitude of ideas, and without having to read the works of Sun Tzu or studying Van Clausewitz a manager can simply consider how an officer gives an order. With a clear objective and an indication of ‘end state’ (how we know we’ve achieved it) as well as understanding of the ‘commanders intent’ (what the boss’s boss wants) and the chance to ‘back brief’ (check understanding and go over initial plans) – so a highly empowered ‘employee’ can enter the fray. Making their own decisions to get the desired result.
- Sports professionals use coaches. In fact the more elite the performer, the more likely they are to have a greater support network. According to a recent Quora answer a tennis coach can provide: Strategic Insight, Scouting Reports, Statistical Analysis, Practice Supervision, Technical Adjustments, New Skills, Confidence Building… what individual or business would not want these?
- A top restaurant is a great example of an organisation using process to take raw ingredients, prepare, present and deliver in a whole package that must delight a customer – every time. This is a case study that oozes efficiency, marketing, customer service and a host of other lessons.
Perhaps then one of the secrets to a successful business is to be always alert to what we can take from the wider world we exist in (including going out for nice meal!), and to be clear that it is not wrong to be obsessive about searching for the winning edge.
At brindis we are passionate about this, and would love to share our ideas with you….