All things being equal, give us a company that has a performance culture versus a nonperformance culture. For example, in an M&A practice, culture acts as the fundamental driver of performance — Strategy and execution fall in place with a strong performance culture reinforced by people.Sam Palazzolo, Principal Officer @ The Javelin Institute
One dilemma Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) encounter — and we do as well during our Executive Education work — is that there is a fantastic deal of misunderstanding about what performance culture is. Even more disturbing is roughly how one prepares an organization to induce peak performance culture. Why is this so difficult?
We were at a virtual conference recently where everyone talked very enthusiastic about building a culture — or changing culture — but little/none had done any significant exploration describing exactly what their organization should/would/could define a performance culture. Performance culture happens, whether or not people build, transform, or take action. Performance culture should not be considered as already there, such as in the atmosphere at the place of work — virtual or non-virtual.
Again, why is the concept of performance culture so difficult to comprehend? After all, CHROs and their teams have identified measurements associated with driving organizational performance. Perhaps the reason performance culture is elusive in practice is because we turn our attention to exactly what could very well be the opposite — as opposed to the most crucial area of special emphasis, performance culture.
A CHRO’s influence in building a performance culture therefore is a difficult one. At the start of this post is a quote regarding performance culture and the priority it receives in mergers and acquisition work. We can debate the quote for a while if you’d like, but if people are typically thought of as an organization’s most important asset, then a performance culture is the fuel provided to allow those employees to drive.
More to the point, there is an indisputable connection between an organization’s strategy, human capital plan, business operation, and society. While there might be misunderstandings about performance culture, there’s no shortage of great books written on the topic or consulting firms ready to provide assistance in this crucial arena (If you have questions/need help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).