Reflection On High Performance Management

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A few weeks ago I spoke, along with Tom Anselmi, the COO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and Phil Lamb, the former CEO of Cott Canada, at a workshop. The topic was High Performance Management which, like golf, looks easy and isn't and requires a number of things to work together simultaneously. Get one wrong or out of synch with the others and the result will not be what you intended - in fact it could be quite the opposite.

I've worked with owner managed companies for the last 12 years and listening to Tom and Phil talk about their experiences confirmed my own thinking. The ingredients for High Performance Management are the same no matter what the size of company you own or work in although obviously the application is different. So
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They would have no opportunity to adjust their game plan for what had actually taken place in each period. Imagine if the coaches didn't give each player feedback on their performance and how it contributed to the team's results. (A few members of the audience wanted to discuss the Leafs' and Jays' performance with Tom Anselmi.)

Businesses are no different. Owners of High Performance companies regularly measure actual performance and give feedback to absolutely everyone. They do this several ways. The owner and her/his management team (and sometimes his/her advisors) take a half day just after the results for each quarter become available to compare actual results to the quarter's goals. Then they spread the news about the company's performance to everyone. They post it for every team member to see, the talk about it at every opportunity and they celebrate success big-time.

I want to leave you with a great quote from a great book. In "CEO Tools - the nuts and bolts for every manager's success" Kraig Kramers has this to say. "Nothing leads to success like having clear, written, repetitively communicated goals. Nothing!" Kramers has an impressive record of success as a CEO and he uses lots of examples from his career to support this statement - and all of the others he makes.

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