Recently, we read a fantastic executive report from the IBM Institute for Business Value (New Rules for a New Decade), written by Karen Butner. The very well-written report is titled: New rules for a new decade - A vision for smarter supply chain management. Although this report focuses on the best practices in supply management, many of the themes that Karen presents are applicable to Sustainable High Performance of critical leaders and teams.
One theme that really struck us was the description of Visionaries. This most successful and effective group of leaders predict demand, use intelligence and analytics, and proactively design solutions ahead of the demand wave. In the area of Sustainable High Performance, we have also seen leaders that we would describe as visionary. They recognize the growing demands on their leaders (and their teams) and they ask critical questions about their readiness to meet these demands. They collect data wherever they can and they look for innovative solutions to proactively support these leaders before they are crashing. Even more, these visionaries understand the ripple effect that occurs when leaders lead with energy, focus, creativity, and resilience.
Another theme from the report that really struck us was that visionaries have the ability to see what others don’t see, especially in complex and volatile situations. In terms of Sustainable High Performance, this means not being limited by doing things the way they always have been done, but being willing to try the untried. We have seen visionaries create special teams (similar to special forces in the military) to quickly address critical needs of a company and support these teams with the Sustainable High Performance support they need to succeed. This is in contrast to the old way of just piling the most critical project on top of the already overstretched high performers and then rewarding them with a promotion if they survive.
The final theme that definitely applies to human performance is the need to enhance value by optimizing performance. Human performance is one of the key levers that is often under-optimized. Our Sustainable High Performance data shows that 67% of top executives have metabolic dysfunctions or other health-related risk factors that decrease productivity. Additionally, 84% of top executives state they don’t have sufficient energy to meet all of their demands throughout their day. Shockingly, 90% of top executives don’t have strategies to prepare themselves personally for their peak performances.
Visionaries don’t accept the status quo or complain that these things are the cost of doing business. They create new rules, they look outside of their business for best practices, and they don’t hide from the data. In the current VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) business world, we need more visionaries.
As always, we’d love to hear what you think.
By Jogi Rippel // CEO and Scott Peltin // Chief Performance Officer