How to replace turnaround by turn before?

In the past 30 years new management theories have been replacing existing thinking models at record speed. Some outdated approaches are reanimated with the hope that they might provide the same value to new challenges.

One theory that has been used a lot in major global corporations is MBO or management by objectives. Variants have been developed and used, perhaps culminating in the view that one should categorize teams and their leaders according to their performance and put them in 3 main boxes.

First there are the high performers who of course are defined by having good results on KPIs. The suggestion is to leave them alone and reward them. The second category consists of the medium performers, who are not performing as good as the high performers but are also not seen as a disaster. Here management must assess the shortcomings, put pressure on the leaders and their teams and organise to support them by frequent follow-up and reviews. The support of course is generally defined by management without any involvement at the receiving end.

Lastly there are the low performers who basically should be warned and if no improvement is visible shown the door to exit the company.

Of course, not all companies operate like this. But the ones that do are convinced that great performance comes from great performance. Also, that the low performers lack skills, willpower, and persistence.

Who has not heard a sport coach saying that it the scoring that changes the game, when in fact it is players with their mindset, their decisions and actions that change the course of games.

If this is remotely true, looking for better results of all leaders and teams is what company development is about. Rarely does increase of pressure support the development of long-term results. However, being scared can make people temporarily work harder. Being afraid of losing your job is sometimes a short-term miracle cure.

For those who believe that people generally really want to do their best there is another path to choose. If you are looking for long term results, creating an environment in which people share best practices and support each other’s to learn and do a little better every day becomes necessary. To build a world-class developing company requires different methods suitable to visualize future challenges and gaps. It is also needed that leaders learn how to involve people into making decisions and action plans. Then of course the support to execute decisions and plans becomes crucial. Everyone can win once. If you want to win again, it is about mindset and culture.

COD support is designed for this, and we suggest considering having the approach of proactively analysing and supporting all units to take the necessary development steps. This about always staying on top of all parts of the game. The view on teams and their leaders and co-workers is that turnaround cases were turn-before cases six to twelve months earlier.

Transparency, trust, and openness are the keys. Follow-up and reviews need to change shape and focus the desired state and the plan to get there. Discussions and support need to be about what we can influence, the future. What has or has not been done becomes relatively unimportant compared to the next coming steps and actions.

With this mindset and thorough joint analysis, it is possible to discover turn-around cases before they become one.

Organize support to turn-before is most likely going to be the next management trend. And it is here to stay.

Like this article?