Interim Executive Resources

Archive for December, 2011


The Commitment Culture Series introduced and described a list of elements that describe cultural aspects of a business and how to move a company from compliance to commitment.  The High Performance series discusses requirements to achieve performance in an organization at individual and group levels.  In this second article of the Performance Framework series, these two models are merged and relationships established to tie these very different concepts together.  In particular, the use of the Commitment Culture elements to drive High Performance factors is discussed in depth.

The Commitment Culture Series identifies three elements that to a company culture:  MISSION, VISION, and VALUES.  If a business does a good job of describing each of these elements and takes appropriate actions to make them come alive in the organization, then high performance can be achieved.  The High Performance model describes a four element system to describe enablers for high performance and they are PERSPECTIVE, CONNECTION, AUTONOMY, and TONE.  If a business has high levels in each of these performance factors, then high performance can be achieved.

These two models have been introduced as separate concepts, but are they truly independent and have no effect upon each other?  Or are they much more connected than the separate boxes imply in the drawing above?

The basic answer is that they are very connected and you can use the elements in the Commitment  Culture model to build various aspects of High Performance.  In fact, there is a clear mapping of culture elements to performance elements that is worthy of detailed description.

For example, how can the Commitment Culture model be used to drive PERSPECTIVE in an organization?  If you want your team to have a comprehensive point of view as opposed to an individual or departmental point of view, what actions can be taken that give people inside a business a more whole-organization understanding?  Another example would be driving performance through increased AUTONOMY.  How can you use the Commitment Culture elements to provide each individual/each team what they need to perform at their highest level, independent of the performance of other teams?

In order to drive higher levels of PERSPECTIVE in an organization, it is necessary to provide an overall business context so that a comprehensive point of view can be developed.  This is accomplished from a cultural perspective by providing a thorough description MISSION and VISION.

Similarly, in order to drive for higher levels of AUTONOMY, it is necessary to provide information regarding the execution of the individual/team role.  The Culture Commitment elements that drive this are VISION and VALUES as indicated in the diagram.

VISION and VALUES descriptions also drive higher levels of CONNECTION and VALUES work also drive higher levels of TONE relative to organization performance.

Note there is not a one to one mapping of framework element to performance factor.  Using the AUTONOMY example, it is insufficient to simply discuss VISION to provide for independent, yet aligned action taking.  A much more thorough environment to drive AUTONOMY is provided when “what the business could be (where are we going together…) is complemented with “how do we conduct ourselves”, in other words VISION and VALUES.

Another interesting aspect of this model is that each Commitment Culture element is tied to multiple High Performance factors.  When you are describing business VISION, you are driving higher performance in PERSPECTIVE, CONNECTION, and AUTONOMY.  When you are detailing VALUES and behaviors for your organization, you are driving performance in CONNECTION, AUTONOMY and TONE.

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