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Beyond Performance

High Performance Organization


Beyond Performance:  How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage.

by Scott Keller and Colin Price

The capability of a business to repeatedly develop profitable products – that do well in the marketplace – is the most important characteristic looked for by investors.   Most firms fail within 20 years. And, only 1/3rd of “great” companies are able to maintain the greatness that made them successful in the first place.  Up to 80% of the value of a company is based on whether or not investors have confidence that a firm can generate profits in the long-haul.

After surveying 6,800 CEOs and 600,000 people in 500 organizations over a decade, and after reviewing 900 books and journals, McKinsey & Company’s senior partners Scott Keller and Colin Price produced what can be called the “organizational health” framework.  The authors define “organizational health” as the “ability of an organization to align, execute and renew itself faster than the competition so that it can sustain exceptional performance over time.”

It is not enough to focus on short-term financial measures. The ability to adapt to new markets trends is essential.  The authors state that businesses that concentrate on their organization’s health are nearly 3 times more successful than those that just focus on numbers.

High Performance Organization

Alignment, Execution and Renewal

To enact positive transformation that supports business performance and organizational health, you must achieve three objectives: “internal alignment” between your company culture and your change strategy, “quality of execution” during implementation of that strategy, and an organizational “capacity for renewal” calling for both adaptability and agility.

The ability to align and execute swiftly is essential  to a firm’s long-term success. Organizations must also be agile and capable of changing rapidly.   McKinsey’s “organization health index” helps organizations to assess themselves and determine where they need to improve. The index has the following categories:

  • Direction: Providing clear direction of where the organization is headed
  • Leadership: Motivating employees through stretch goals and engaging, regular communications.
  • Culture: Establishing  a robust, agile culture.
  • Accountability: Providing an understanding of what the firm expects of its employees.
  • Coordination: Monitoring the right performance measures and rewarding good results.
  • Capabilities: Developing the skills and expertise to attain goals.
  • Motivation: Encouraging and recognizing employees
  • External orientation: Deeply engaging with customers and stakeholders
  • Innovating: Inspiring all personnel to create ideas and transform them into value


Beyond Performance: How great organizations build ultimate competitive advantage

Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage John Wiley & Sons | Scott Keller and Colin Price Most organizations are managed for mediocrity. The facts are clear: only a third of organizations that achieve excellence are able to maintain it over decades; even fewer manage to implement successful transformation programs. These statistics have devastating implications. In business, most of today’s companies will falter within 20 years. In government, the majority of reform programs will fail. And so will most efforts to create broader social change. This new book by McKinsey senior partners Scott Keller and Colin Price is written for those who intend to beat these odds. It is a must-read for any leader asking these types of questions: How can we dramatically-and quickly-improve our organization’s performance? What are the known pitfalls of transforming an organization, and how can we avoid them? How do we ensure that our performance improvements will last? How do we create a culture of continuous change that will help us sustain competitive... 

Highlights by David Willden

High Performance Organization

High Performance Organization