The Performance Formula

The Principle

We’ve all heard of Aristotle’s saying, The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

At Out of the Box Executive, we believe this to be true for boards, businesses and executives in performing at their optimum. It is no longer enough to just ‘know what you need to know’, ‘do what you need to do’ and ‘keep your nose clean’!

Jo developed The Performance Formula © (TPF) after an epiphany in early 2018 having just completed the AICD’s Mastering the Boardroom weeklong program, and after observing various board and executive behaviour over many years.

While some of the TPF elements are different for boards and businesses than for individual executives, there is a critical component that is the magical ingredient.  When this magical ingredient is amplified, TPF produces a beautiful sweet spot where the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts……or as we define it, where the outcomes delivered are beyond one’s purpose and value proposition in achieving optimum performance!

So, what is that magical ingredient? ………..   it can be summed up in two words, ‘behavioural dynamics’.

Behavioural dynamics is a term we are using to describe how we behave (what we say and do) individually and collectively in relation to our interactions with others and our environment.

While these are each influenced by many factors, what’s important to understand and where it becomes incredibly interesting, is in understanding ‘WHY’ we behave and interact in particular ways. In doing so, much attention must be devoted to unpacking your individual and collective purpose, values and, importantly, crafting an environment that enables constructive, high value and respectful interactions every time regardless of the situation.

Out of the Box Executives uses the TPF as its primary tool for performance diagnostics, knowledge building and exploration of growth and development strategies to help you achieve your optimum performance.

Let’s take a look at what that means for boards and businesses, and then for individual executives.

For Boards and Business

All boards worth their salt are concerned with their governance duties. That is, the policies, procedures, rules, systems and information flow that enable direction, guidance and control of an organisation to meet its regulatory compliance obligations, and to set, measure and report on organisational performance.

You will notice that some boards and directors are very focussed on making sure their organisation is compliant (compliance), that they ‘tick the boxes’!  In contrast, others seem to pay more attention to strategising, blue sky thinking, ensuring that the purpose and vision of their organisation is clear and differentiated from its competitors (strategic nous). Others may focus on winning the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and stakeholders through positively impacting their social and ethical responsibilities (contemporary governance). Every organisation is different. There is no one right size model when it comes to balancing a board’s or business’s focus to achieve its goals. The external environment, product and service mix, human talent, industry, shareholders, community expectations, organisational lifecycle, purpose and strategy, will all influence areas of priority and focus.

When we work to ‘right size’ these elements and there is a significant and consistent investment in a board’s or business’s behavioural dynamic (hence squared2), we achieve the magical sweet spot of ‘greater than the sum’.

TPF = compliance + contemporary governance + strategic nous + behavioural dynamics2

TPF = C + CG + SN + BD2

For Individual Executives

So how does TPF playout for individual executives, professionals, and senior leaders?

Most likely you are, or have been, a subject matter expert in a particular field. Perhaps you have a formal education and over the years, have been able to deeply practise the knowledge you have gained. Examples might include science, information technology, law, accounting, strategy, human resources, marketing, engineering…..the list goes on.

As a competent executive, professional or senior leader, you are probably an experienced manager and have had plenty of opportunities to apply good judgement to various situations. This is where we introduce wisdom.

Over the years you have fine tuned your strategic nous though identifying, developing and implementing strategies to deliver key outcomes.

What each of us know all too well, is that not all executives, professionals, and senior leaders are born equal! Despite being ‘technically’ competent in their position, they lack the magical ingredient that enables them to be greater than the sum of their cumulative knowledge, wisdom and strategic nous.

Again, amplification of a positive behavioural dynamic is the magical ingredient. For individuals, in my experience these are the people who understand their ‘WHY’.  They are clear and resolved with what it is that drives and motivates them. They understand their values and ensure they are congruent with their value proposition regardless of the context, environment, or situation. They are comfortable in their skin and ‘own’ their authenticity. There is a strong confidence about them (albeit not always overtly demonstrated) and as such are well respected, trusted, sought out, and their contributions are valued highly by others. Importantly, they are reflective and embrace continuous learning.

Understanding, owning, and living your ‘WHY’ is incredibly empowering and fundamental to stepping up and into your confidence.

It is is a journey of exploration that can be incredibly personal and, often many find their personal and professional WHY is inextricably linked. If you know your why, you can walk your why. By knowing and walking your why, you can act with clarity and purpose with consistency and predictability. These people are fabulous at developing and managing people. They understand how their attitudes and behaviours affect others and the importance of good relationships and collaboration to achieve optimum performance.

TPF = knowledge + wisdom + strategic nous + behavioural dynamics2

TPF = K + W + SN + BD2