Many leaders concede that the basics of their organisation, from business model through to mind-set, seem to be constantly one step behind. Never enough time to think, leaders and their teams are almost wholly reactive. Hitting ever shorter-term goals and defending the status quo has become the miracle that must be performed on a perpetual basis.
Is it simply that rising market forces have created this cauldron of pressure? Or is it the way we think about performance that’s the central part of the problem?
The Value Bias
In an analysis of 290 corporate performance research studies, the biggest factor in the difference between high and low performance organisations was the greater long-term focus of the high performing companies.
Source: Macrothink Institute
The simplest way to describe how an organisation creates values is through the lens of focus – what individuals, teams and divisions are absorbed in doing. There are three immutable dimensions of organisational focus: Value today is exploiting the existing business model for short-term return; Value tomorrow is about innovation and investment in the future; Aligning People and Value is the leadership and management challenges of setting the balance for this focus and aligning resources accordingly.
The pressure to change, coupled with an unconsciously limited mind-set, has generated the Value Bias that rules many organisations. The results range from immediacy addiction, with employees hooked on short-term activity and inside-out cultures where the customer is last in the chain of real considerations, to strategic vulnerability where long-term relevancy is continually short-changed. Many of the major performance problems we discuss with leaders are deeply rooted in a Value Bias.
Our insight, honed over 20 years of research and practice, is that breaking past what has become the ultimate performance dilemma – value today versus value tomorrow – requires a new lens to view the world and discover the next frontier of performance gains.
We call this idea Fusion.
Fusion Thinking is the ability to integrate value in new ways. Performance Redefined is ultimately about moving past an either/or state, where creating value for tomorrow feels like a luxury.
The Ultimate Performance State
We describe Fusion as an organisation’s faculty to integrate its two forms of ability – capability and capacity – to create the ultimate performance state.
To build powerful organisations, capable of enduring success, leaders needs to build a new paradigm – Fusion – that equally values and seeks to integrate capacity and capability, creating Adaptive Performance.
Adaptive Performance is driven by the best of the organisation’s rational and creative dimensions, as it holds an optimal balance between the needs of today and the future. It dynamically blends the rational and creative intelligences of the organisation, whilst remaining alert to the environment.
Fusion Thinking and How it Changes Strategy, Leadership and Innovation.
Fusion Thinking is a new way of solving the big performance challenges facing leaders and their teams. At its heart is a way of thinking that involves moving past an either/or mind-set to both/and problem solving.
We have come to understand six dimensions of Fusion that leaders need to recognise and embrace in their approach to problem solving and value creation. They are six paradoxes – sets of opposites – that provoke either/or thinking and responses in individuals and organisations. The challenge in evolving past the limitations of today’s Value Biased organisation is to hold these opposites in a dynamic tension and be clear where the fulcrum must lie at any one time.
To learn more about the six dimensions of Fusion, please call us on 01483 414000 for more information.