Optimal Performing Organizations

Optimal Performing Organizations

by necoaching

How do you get the most from your people? Billions of dollars are spent annually on an infinite variety of training programs in pursuit of answering this question. It is still one of the elusive components to running a business that owners and leaders struggle with.

Clearly when a new person is hired some fundamentals need to be put in place to attain an acceptable standard quickly. Let’s call this standard “functional” and once this is achieved the following basics are typically in place:

  • Skills, experience and knowledge are the main contributors
  • Directive Leadership is more prevalent
  • Rewards more likely impact motivation
  • Commitment is driven primarily from compliance
  • Perfecting the process is the focus
  • Performance is typically to minimum expectations.


However for those organizations who strive to be the most successful, they are in pursuit of best in class and let’s call this “optimal”. When one moves through “functional” to “optimal” then the following transformation takes place:

  • Behaviors and relationships become main drivers through expanded emotional capacity
  • Leadership is driven by a coach approach where teaching and supporting are the norm
  • Motivation is more about recognition for what is being achieved
  • Commitment is driven by a sense of engagement and belonging
  • The focus reverses and people become the drivers of the process
  • Consequently performance exceeds expectations because of all of the above.

This can be summarized as follows:

Functional Optimal
Driver Intellectual Skills Emotional Skills (Behavior)
Leadership Directive Coaching
Motivation Extrinsic ( Rewards) Intrinsic
Commitment Compliance Engagement
Focus Process People
Outcomes Meets Expectations Exceeds Expectations

However, operating from an “optimal” level requires that you initially go through many of the “functional” elements first. The appropriate combination of these two provides an initial base and from this comes the professional growth that can support sustainable success.