The human factor II: Creating a high performance culture in an organization
Cost Engineering (Morgantown, West Virginia)
Murray and Roberts Engineering Solutions of Bedfordview, Gauteng, South Africa; AACE, South Africa
An organization's long-term success depends on the ability of that organization to sustain the delivery of quality products and services, yet many organizations fail in the area of a sustainable high performance culture. This article explores the three major deterrents to sustaining this high performance in an organization. The key aspects of what constitutes an organizational culture, and more importantly, a high performance culture will also be discussed, as will the "Four Cultures Model," providing some clarity on the central tendencies of all organizations. The stronger the culture, the more resistant it is to change. For an organizational culture to maintain its strength and adapt to shifts in its environment requires contribution, candor, and constant learning. Having a high performance culture has financial implications, as indicated by a study showing non-high performers increasing net income by just one percent over an 11-year period, compared to the 756 percent improvement for the organizations identified as having high-performing cultures. The importance of establishing a culture of business excellence is also discussed as is the dynamics of striving beyond business excellence. What is key throughout are the concepts of teamwork, global thinking, and dynamic leadership, with specific focus on solutions. A sustainable high performance culture model is also discussed highlighting five key success factors. It has to be said that the only way that organizations can be considered as high performing is if the people who comprise these organizations succeed. Performance can also be influenced from any number of factors, including not just the internal elements such as organizational culture, structures, processes and leadership, but also external elements. High performance depends upon the alignment of internal systems with the larger system within which the organization operates.
Leadership; Organizational performance; Profits; Team work; Mathematical models; Quality control; Societies and institutions; Sustainable development