Course Description

Culture is measurable and its impact quantifiable.

The High Performance Organizational (HPO) framework was developed by the HPO Centre through a meta-analyses of 290 academic studies on high performance and tested in 1475 organizations globally over a 10 year period. The HPO Framework is the only framework in the world which gives a distinct and lasting improvement effect. All organizations that have applied it with discipline have achieved improved organizational results.  Our in-house expert completed his Masters thesis on this subject in conjunction with the HPO Centre in the Netherlands. Using the ground-breaking and scientifically validated High Performance Organisation’s framework we diagnose, dissect, establish, & implement organisational needs and capabilities, based on the 5 pillars and 35 characteristics that drives a High Performance Organisation.

Course Overview

There are 5 Focus Areas. Click a module to expand it and Learn More.

1 • Management Quality (Leadership) +

Leadership and quality of management stands central to organisational behavior. Leadership has a profound effect on the organisational climate and culture. High performance does not come without concerted effort and is dependent on the quality and integrity of the tone that is set by the leadership of the organisation. According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity (2011), their research findings regarding leadership practices indicates that the three strategies of communication, supporting the culture and adopting innovative practices emerged as factors that have the highest influence on performance. Blanchard (2010) describes leadership as the engine that drives the organisation towards a high performance destination. In a high performance organisation the role of a leader shifts from the traditional privileged power and status to a more complex participative and long-term perspective. Once leaders establish the vision for the organisation, they assume the role and behaviour of a servant leader, which practices support, collaboration and involvement at every level within the organisation. These leaders live the organisational values, embody and encourage a spirit of inquiry and discovery and help others think systematically. They are visible in their leadership and show conviction towards their focus on strategic decisions, which ultimately results in the emergence of leaders throughout the organisation. This is affirmed by Lear (2009) that every large scale study on high performance referred to leadership as being at the heart of the matter.

2 • Openness & Action Orientation (Culture) +

All of the published models indicate that high performance is dependent on a definitive culture that abides within the organisation. An inclusive values and belief system enhances performance through trust and empowerment which in turn cultivates personal responsibility and employee involvement. According to De Waal (2012) high performance organisations have a strong openness and action orientation. Their motto is “a day not learned is a day not lived”. They spend a lot of time on dialogue, knowledge sharing and learning, as they have an incurable curiosity as to how its people and processes can be improved.

Their ongoing focus is about developing oneself and the organisation High performance organisations have a well-established set of values that drive employee behaviour. This values and belief system is well understood by employees, embedded within the organisation and consistent with the company’s approach to leadership (American Management Association, 2007). According to research by The Institute for Corporate Productivity (2011) it is critical that culture is aligned with vision, mission and strategy as culture will override everything else. The culture of a high performance organisation must be strong in all the right ways as its employees do not only adapt well to change, but they embrace it with a readiness to meet new challenges and show a commitment to innovation. Blanchard (2010) states that culture underlies everything an organisation does. Every organisation has a culture, whether it is by default or design.

The organisation’s culture can enable the organisational performance and employee passion, or erode it. Kaliprasad (2006) states that as long as the culture supports the strategy and is appropriate to the current marketplace, it is beneficial to the organisation. Because stronger cultures are more resistant to change, the challenge therefore lies in creating a culture where perpetual change is one of the stable elements. This will enable the culture to maintain its strength whilst simultaneously adapting to the shifts in the environment.

3 • Long-term Orientation (Strategy) +

Research affirms that a long term strategic approach is fundamental to high performance. A high performance strategy should be aligned to purpose, values and goals to form a compelling vision that drives all activity. In all twelve survey attributes that measure consistency of strategic approach during the High Performance Survey conducted by the American Management Association (2007), the high performance organisations out-scored their peers. All twelve of these attributes were found to positively correlate with performance. In addition to consistency of leadership, consistency of the organisational philosophy statement and performance measurements’ consistency with strategy, were cited as the most widely cited practices amongst high performance organisations. It is proposed that an organisation’s consistency of strategic approach helps to determine its success, which can be measured based upon how well the organisation walks the talk (American Management Association, 2007). Since high performance organisations establish clear visions that are supported by flexible and achievable strategic plans, these translate into clearly articulated philosophies that set the benchmarks for all individual behaviour. This results in leaders and workers who behave consistently with organisational strategy and philosophy.

4 • Continuous Improvement & Renewal (Innovation) +

Also referred to as continual improvement and renewal, or energising systems and structures, all research regard innovation as central to high performance organisations. High performance organisations arrange their work processes, policies and procedures to support and execute strategy by enabling employees to most effectively meet internal and external needs. A wide variety of metrics are used to gauge the work for the department and entire organisation. These include a unique strategy, process improvement, process simplification and process alignment, performance management, as well as innovation of products, services, processes and innovation of core competencies.

5 • Employee Quality (Talent) +

Talent and people is another central theme of high performance organisations. High performance organisations rely on its people. In order to become a high performance organisation it is critical to hire people with incurable curiosity, that want to be challenged, need to have responsibility and at the same time ask to be held accountable and want to perform better. High performance employees perform better than the average employee and as a result contribute more to the organisation (De Waal, 2012). Culture plays an important role when it comes to people. The Institute for Corporate Productivity (2011) holds that organisations will not only be facing greater challenges to attract talent in the future, but they will also need to represent and express their culture via online worlds as employees are more geographically dispersed. In doing so organisations will need to adopt stronger values related to sustainability, diversity, resilience and agility.

Organizational Development

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