Every business leader and executive I speak with talks about performance. Financial performance, people performance, marketing performance, sales performance, operational performance and so on.
Great performance requires people to be onboard, engaged, aligned and passionate about the vision, purpose, passion, goals, personality and promise of the business – and this is one of the biggest challenges within an organization.
Performances, on the other hand, are delivered by employees, managers and leaders. They are also delivered by customers, vendors, supporters, investors, partners and franchisees.
In other words, all people play a role in the success of a business.
The Theater references don’t end here…
Every business has a stage which is set by its marketing team and reinforced by employees and customers. When employees see themselves as performers and their actions as performances, it’s easier to see how great behaviors and decisions make an impact. (It’s also more fun!)
Leaders and managers are also challenged to improve the performance experience to add more value to customers, to differentiate their business from competitors, to improve relationships and to increase profits – while striving to deliver consistent performances regardless of who is on stage at any given moment.
Performance matters, regardless of how you define it.
5 Ways to Improve Your Performance
- Ensure you have a strong vision, purpose, passion, personality, platform and core values which are easy to share. Then share it! All employees need to know where you are headed. All employees and customers need to know what you stand for and how you are different. They will then choose whether to support your business or not.
- Review your policies, procedures and decision making criteria to ensure these are in alignment with #1. If one of your core values is “sense of family” and yet you have departments or silos which compete with each other or don’t speak to each other, then your sense of family is dysfunctional! If you say that you are customer-centric are you making decisions which support what your customers’ value and are willing to pay for? If you are all about efficiency, how are you continuously improving it?
- Immerse yourself in your performance. In this definition of performance, you are looking at the roles your people play; how customers and employees act; which “sets” on your “stage” need to be updated and how you can improve the experience delivered to employees and customers. Think of your business in the theatrical sense to give yourself a different perspective. Find out what it’s like outside your office. Get immersed in the experience and ask how it can be better.
- Take action. You’ve identified gaps in performance — both in the traditional business sense and through the eyes of the performers. Review #1 and #2 and come up with a plan to close the gaps. Every business will approach the action taking in a different way — just be sure to stay in alignment.
- Get help. You can’t optimize your performance alone. Involve your employees, customers, supporters, partners, investors and vendors. Ask for insight. Remember that your perspective isn’t going to be the same perspective that others have. Let their input help to guide you. If you are out of your element or you cannot take on more work, hire someone to manage the project or various parts of the project.
Performance is a one of those great words which means different things to different people. Remember, your business is similar to theater. You create the stage, you choose the performers, you deliver performances and your people act in certain ways. Each of these elements impacts your business performance. Improve the theater and improve your business.
How do you define performance? How do you improve it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.