In my eyes, it’s one that brings together diverse, unique and innovative people who are passionate about achieving a common goal. These individuals have a fire in their belly to make change and both challenge and embrace the distinctive strengths each brings to the game. They dust each other off when they fall and have learnt to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Every member of the team feels valued and included by their direct working group and leaders.
Most people may think that this environment sounds as mythical as unicorns, but I can attest that these teams really do exist. High performance cultures attract talent to an organisation and they are the glue that retains them. The key ingredients to cultivating a high-performance culture can vary greatly in each person’s eyes and can also be unique to a particular business.
Here are my key components of a high-performance culture, which require the right people and a strong set of business values and ethics to enable their success.
Having worked for the same organisation for the past ten years, I feel like MEC is one of my children. However, when I challenge whether time has given me that owner mentality, the answer is no. It is a behaviour I have always truly believed in and have fostered within my teams. For every decision I make for MEC or on our clients’ projects, I always treat every single dollar or asset as if it were my own. I question the value I am creating and whether or not it is sustainable. I ask myself, is the solution something I truly believe in? And would I be willing to put some skin in the game to make it happen?
What makes us unique
Whether you are a trailblazer or a specialist who strives for mastery, deep down everyone wants to jump out of bed in the morning knowing they are contributing to something big and exciting that brings purpose and meaning to their roles. What is your point of difference? What sets your organisation apart from the crowd?
I appreciate that some people consider diversity to be a buzz word in the marketplace right now, but from my experience it is vital to the success of an organisation. To me, a diverse workforce is one that is free from both conscious and unconscious biases based on gender, class, ethnicity, age, and sexual preference as examples. The resulting diversity of thought allows for the critical ability to look at problems through multiple lenses. They bring differing experiences, skill-sets and backgrounds. Organisations that hire homogenous employees that are just like them, leave a lot to be desired. These companies lose their ability to be creative, honest, nimble and innovative.
Being collaborative and performance focused
I am a strong believer in BHAGs and key performance metrics, as they are integral to driving focused performance in the right areas. They fuel excitement and provide direction to every individual who is striving to achieve a common goal. It enables cross-departmental working groups to become extremely effective in achieving meaningful collaboration. They provide momentum and deliver the right outcomes, as opposed to burning up energy looking in the wrong places or competing on divergent objectives.
These are my top four criteria for ensuring a culture of high-performance, but there are no doubt many differing views on the drivers for success in this area. What does a high-performance culture look like to you?